How the Market, Not Government, Regulates Cryptocurrency Crimes

While policymakers have been busy formulating sweeping changes and regulators have been busy debating jurisdiction, some participants in the cryptocurrency industry have been busy regulating the space themselves. And considering that all too often the word “regulation” follows the word “government,” we shouldn’t be too quick to overlook the fact that the market too is capable of creating a level of order and regularity. In the case of cryptocurrency, part of this effort to create order and regularity has taken the form of countless individuals and organizations seeking to combat fraud and scams. Ivane Nachkebia and I noted this reality of regulation in our recent comment letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. However, when the Treasury issued new sanctions restricting all U.S. citizens from accessing the Tornado Cash protocol, it quickly became apparent that this idea needs to reach a wider audience. Given the nature of blockchain technology and available private resources, the blanket ban on using open‐​source code, in addition to having potential legal ramifications, was not only an objectionable application of the law, but also an unnecessary one.

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