Currency or Security? What United States v. Zaslavskiy Means for the Future of Cryptocurrency Regulation

Whether you call them cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, digital assets, or tokens, a new asset class has developed. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses encryption techniques for governance and security and operates independently of any central bank. Like any other financial instrument, however, the use of digital currency brings with it a risk of fraud. This article examines the implications of a recent decision from the Eastern District of New York against Maksim Zaslavskiy, the first case to address whether cryptocurrency is subject to federal securities laws.