Not long ago, only the tech-focused were interested in cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledger technologies that make them possible. That has changed. The wins and losses of crypto investors are now center stage, as are the potential benefits and harms of a decentralized trust architecture that can be used both to democratize access to financial products and to circumvent traditional policing of financial transactions.

Federal and state regulators have appeared on the crypto-focused stage. While they’ve been active in the space previously, they’ve taken increasingly aggressive action to regulate cryptocurrency and prosecute those who have abused this otherwise exciting innovation. This article will summarize the basics of cryptocurrency, as well as actions by state and federal regulators involving cryptocurrency based products and services.

Cryptocurrency in a Nutshell

As a digital currency, cryptocurrency does not exist in any physical form,…

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