Below is a summary of some of the significant legal and regulatory actions that occurred over the past week. This alert is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all such developments, but rather a selection of publicly-reported news that may be of particular interest.
- The Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group convened for the first time this week to discuss the management of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. The group, formed by a voluntary association of 53 independent countries, recommended that Commonwealth governments should regulate bitcoin to address the risks associated with digital currencies without stifling innovation at the end of the three-day conference held in London. The group concluded that “Member states should consider the applicability of their existing legal frameworks to virtual currencies and where appropriate, [they] should consider adapting them or enacting new legislation to regulate virtual currencies.” Additionally, the group asked governments to provide education on digital currencies to train law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges and regulatory authorities. The group is expected to reconvene early 2016 to consider drafting technical guidance on the subject of member states.