Virtual Currency As Commodity: From Coinflip To McDonnell

Law360 (March 16, 2018, 2:16 PM EDT) -- Through a series of public statements and judicial opinions, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has, within a period of 2 1/2 years, effectively established itself as the United States’ primary regulator of virtual currencies, a somewhat remarkable development in light of the fact that nowhere does the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, define “commodity” to include virtual currencies. Beginning with the Coinflip administrative action on Sept. 17, 2015,[1] and progressing to the Eastern District of New York’s memorandum and order in the McDonnell case on March 6, 2018,[2] the combination of enforcement actions initiated by the CFTC and accompanying judicial...

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