John T. Bender


krypto currency, regulation, cryptomania, securities and exchange commission, bitlicense, New York department of financial services


“Cryptomania” is approaching fever pitch. Public officials, practitioners, and investors alike are becoming convinced that what began as a thought experiment has given rise to a full-fledged movement that is here to stay. This movement could potentially transform the modern financial system as we know it.

Today, crypto assets and related platforms are increasingly being adopted to store, secure, and transmit massive amounts of monetary value worldwide. Enforcement agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission have ventured into the fray by employing existing legal regimes to regulate in this new frontier. At the same time, individual states have been at the forefront of enacting new laws to address crypto and blockchain technology.

Regulation can shape outcomes for any new industry. This article focuses on legislation in three states at the forefront of regulating digital assets—New York, Washington, and Wyoming. Each state has adopted different approaches ranging from liberal to stringent. Examining each approach can help facilitate an informed discussion about the best way to regulate the area in the future.