Document Type



After nearly a decade and a half since the creation of the first cryptocurrency, crypto regulation in the United States is fragmented, with different measures taken at the federal and state levels, and even within and among agencies. This sluggish speed is not necessarily a surprise as government regulation has always chased rapid advancements in technology and associated consumer and market behavior changes. However, this is a precarious position for the United States--and the world--as the U.S. is a leader in the global financial community, the high concentration of crypto-based wealth, and economies’ increasingly interconnected and interdependent nature. This working paper examines the history of currency; features of cryptocurrency, especially those features which make it prone to regulation; the United States’ efforts to regulate cryptocurrency, reviewing current and proposed regulatory efforts; and lastly, this paper concludes with an analysis of the research and provides suggestions to lawmakers and regulators. The central theme of the analysis will opine that cryptocurrencies, and their tangencies, such as the crypto-ecosystem they live within, increasingly pose a systematic risk to global financial markets. Nevertheless, any regulation must be balanced not to smother emerging crypto markets and financial technology innovation.