Peter Van Valkenburgh

Research Director


All articles by Peter

What the heck happened last week? SEC Broker Enforcement, Treasury Broker Rule, and SCOTUS Broke Chevron.

Senate Attaches Controversial Crypto Sanctions Bill to Must-Pass Intelligence Legislation

DOJ’s New Stance on Crypto Wallets is a Threat to Liberty and the Rule of Law

Coin Center files court brief in defense of Tornado Cash developer

Amicus Curiae In Support of Roman Storm’s Motion to Dismiss

Comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on “Proposal of Special Measure Regarding Convertible Virtual Currency Mixing, as a Class of Transactions of Primary Money Laundering Concern”

Comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on “Defining Larger Participants of a Market for General-Use Digital Consumer Payment Applications”

It’s time to have the conversation: Is the Bank Secrecy Act unconstitutional?

Broad, Ambiguous, or Delegated: Constitutional Infirmities of the Bank Secrecy Act

There’s a centuries-old standard that tells us when regulation of crypto is justified

Comments to the Department of Treasury on “Gross Proceeds and Basis Reporting by Brokers and Determination of Amount Realized and Basis for Digital Asset Transactions”

Treasury’s proposed ‘broker’ rules expand surveillance well beyond a ‘third party doctrine’ that’s already stretched thin

New Tornado Cash indictments seem to run counter to FinCEN guidance

When does a sanction become a seizure? Lessons from the KindHearts case

Further Comments to the Securities Exchange Commission on Amendments Regarding the Definition of ‘Exchange’ and Alternative Trading Systems

Treasury’s new DeFi risk assessment relies on ill-fitting frameworks and makes potentially unconstitutional recommendations

A Snapshot of the Current Questions and Unsettled Policy Related to Cryptocurrency Taxation

The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act is an opportunistic, unconstitutional assault on cryptocurrency self custody, developers, and node operators

Tornado Cash is no “golem.” It’s a tool for privacy and free speech.

Coin Center is suing OFAC over its Tornado Cash sanction

Does the Merge change how Ethereum is regulated? (No.)

How does Tornado Cash work?

How does Tornado Cash actually work?

Analysis: What is and what is not a sanctionable entity in the Tornado Cash case

U.S. Treasury sanction of privacy tools places sweeping restrictions on all Americans

Comments to the Department of Treasury Regarding Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets

A new Senate bill focuses on cryptocurrency exchanges. Here’s what developers and users should keep an eye on.

Coin Center has filed a court challenge against the Treasury Dept. over unconstitutional financial surveillance

A new SEC proposal has a serious change hidden within its complex language.

Comments to the Securities Exchange Commission on Amendments Regarding the Definition of ‘Exchange’ and Alternative Trading Systems

New crypto sanctions bill targets publishing code, facilitating transactions

Coin Center amicus brief in Jarrett v U.S.

Comments to the Thirty-First Legislature (2022) of the State of Hawaii on S.B. No. 3076 relating to special purpose digital currency licensure and S.B. 3025 relating to digital currency licensing program

IRS signals retreat in court battle that could reshape block reward taxation

New bill would hand Treasury blank check to ban crypto at exchanges

How policymakers should think about “staking”

What is “staking”?

The long-awaited FATF crypto guidance is not as bad as it could have been, but still flawed

Open Blockchains and Decentralized Identity Standards

Proposals for Clarifying Laws Around Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies in Response to Requests for Feedback from Senator Pat Toomey

An unworkable and arguably unconstitutional tax change tucked away in the infrastructure bill

Understanding Bitcoin’s energy use

“Expansive” standards for surveillance threaten human autonomy—our message to FATF

Comments to the Financial Action Task Force on the March 2021 Draft updated Guidance for a risk-based approach to virtual assets and VASPs

A quick analysis of FATF’s 2021 draft cryptocurrency guidance

Coin Center uses additional time provided by FinCEN to file another comment in ongoing surveillance rulemaking

Additional Comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on Requirements for Certain Transactions Involving Convertible Virtual Currency or Digital Assets

Coin Center files second comment in FinCEN rulemaking challenging its authority to make the surveillance rule

Join us in responding to an unfair and discriminatory midnight rulemaking

Comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on Requirements for Certain Transactions Involving Convertible Virtual Currency or Digital Assets

A Midnight Rule for Cryptocurrency Transaction Reports

The Unintended(?) Consequences of the STABLE Act

Comments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on Changes to Threshold for “Travel Rule” Obligations

There’s no such thing as a decentralized exchange

Two new bills in Congress would clarify agency jurisdiction over cryptocurrency

Are regulators poised to demand cryptocurrency address whitelisting? Probably not.

The ideal regulatory environment for Bitcoin

Congress to IRS: Proof-Of-Stake block rewards should not be taxed as income

Comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on National Bank and Federal Savings Association Digital Activities

Federal regulator: National banks can hold cryptocurrency

Do anti-encryption bills in Congress pose a risk to cryptocurrency?

What’s in the Bitlicense’s 5-year update?

Without privacy, do we really want a digital dollar?

How to trace a virus without surrendering our privacy

On SEC vs. Telegram

A bill focused on stablecoins has been introduced in Congress

Coin Center has published a new plain English explainer on forks and airdrops to highlight ambiguities in recent IRS guidance.

IRS Cryptocurrency guidance answers some questions while raising messy new ones

Hard Fork

This week’s EOS and Sia settlements with the SEC reinforce Coin Center’s 2016 policy recommendations.

A national alternative to onerous state-by-state regulation of cryptocurrency intermediaries

Don’t make these five common mistakes about blockchains and cryptocurrency.

The differences between Bitcoin and Libra should matter to policymakers

The upcoming FATF interpretive note is not doomsday for cryptocurrency

Comment to Her Majesty’s Treasury on Transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive

FinCEN’s new cryptocurrency guidance matches Coin Center recommendations

Coin Center analysis of SEC cryptocurrency guidance

New regulation would effectively ban crypto exchanges in Mexico

Brookings has published a report by former CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad on cryptocurrency regulation.

Texas cryptocurrency bill threatens financial privacy

The Constitution Protects Software Developers and Users from Surveillance Overreach

Electronic Cash, Decentralized Exchange, and the Constitution

Comments to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Response to the Request for Input on Crypto-asset Mechanics and Markets

What can the EtherDelta settlement tell us about how decentralized exchanges are regulated?

Writing and publishing code alone cannot be a crime

The public internet needs public payments infrastructure

The Comptroller of the Currency is making the case for a Federal Fintech Charter, a welcome alternative to state-by-state licensing for cryptocurrency and other payments companies.

The Federal Reserve of St. Louis has published an excellent paper on payment systems and privacy.

51% Attack

An updated Framework for Securities Regulation of Cryptocurrencies

Framework for Securities Regulation of Cryptocurrencies

Understanding Bitcoin’s role in the Russia investigation

What could “decentralization” mean in the context of the law?

Principles for Clarifying SEC Jurisdiction over Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Why treating all tokens as securities would harm innovation

SEC Commissioner doesn’t want to pick cryptocurrency winners and losers.

Congressman Emmer stands up for cryptocurrency innovation and gets important regulatory clarification from the SEC.

No, ether is not a security.

SEC’s Clayton: Use of a token can evolve toward or away from being a security

Comments to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on the Proposed Interpretation on Virtual Currency “Actual Delivery” in Retail Transactions

FinCEN raises major licensing problem for ICOs in new letter to Congress.

Money Transmission Licensing is broken. Here’s how to fix it.

Cryptocurrencies are far from unregulated

The Need for a Federal Alternative to State Money Transmission Licensing

Coin Center statement on Long Island money laundering arrest.

How Bitcoin could drive the clean energy revolution.

Munchee Settlement Puts the Utility Token Argument to the Test

Good news: Ethereum’s CryptoKitties are probably not securities.

Coin Center statement on IRS Coinbase order.

How do token sales fit with securities regulations?

What is “open source” and why is it important?

The SAFT is a reasonable approach to securities law when preselling useful network tokens

A token airdrop may not spare you from securities regulation.

Visualizing Digital Currency Regulation State-by-state

Coin Center amicus brief in U.S. v. Coinbase

SEC hasn’t quashed blockchain innovation. Let’s keep it that way

The Uniform Law Commission Has Given States a Clear Path to Approach Bitcoin

The SEC today has said that some tokens can be securities.

The ULC’s model act for digital currency businesses has passed. Here’s why it’s good for Bitcoin.

The Bank Secrecy Act, Cryptocurrencies, and New Tokens: What is Known and What Remains Ambiguous

Securities Laws Aren’t the Only Rules Token Sales Have to Consider

What does it mean to issue a token “on top of” Ethereum?

Sixth Letter to the Uniform Law Commission

The CSBS is suing the OCC to stop the new special purpose national bank charter for fintech firms.

What’s a blockchain, anyway?

Amazon, Apple, Google, Intuit, and Paypal just asked Congress for a unified federal alternative to state money transmission licensing.

Comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Exploring Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

Comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Exploring Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

California is back at it; a new (old) virtual currency licensing bill is pending in the Assembly.

Congress should create a blockchain technology safe harbor. Luckily they already figured it out in the ’90s.

The OCC has just taken another step toward a national fintech charter.

New Coin Center report: How lawmakers can protect consumers without harming digital currency innovation.

Fifth Letter to the Uniform Law Commission

State Digital Currency Principles and Framework

One of bitcoin’s best bets for sound regulation is about to wrap up.

Fourth Letter on the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act

The hedge fund Numerai is going to issue its own cryptotoken, and this article nails the policy issues.

North Dakota’s new money transmission bill fails to define “control” of bitcoins.

ESMA issued their final DLT report but continues to underestimate open networks.

Great news for bitcoin and other blockchain startups from Switzerland today.

What does “permissionless” mean?

Bitcoin innovators need legal safe harbors

Things are looking up for Bitcoin’s biggest regulatory hurdle

Comments to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in Support of the Proposed Digital Currency Regulatory Guidance

Does it matter that different government agencies define Bitcoin differently?

“Blockchain technology” is a buzzword with little meaning. Here’s what matters.

Open Matters: Why Permissionless Blockchains are Essential to the Future of the Internet


Is your cryptotoken a security? This new tool will help you find out.

The OCC has decided to pursue the federal fintech charter for which we have been advocating.

Comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Receiverships for Uninsured National Banks

This OCC rulemaking could a make a big difference for digital currency exchanges.

An update from the recent Uniform Law Commission drafting meeting

Third Letter on the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act


New CFPB prepaid rules leave out Bitcoin, and that’s mostly a good thing.

Could your decentralized token project run afoul of securities laws?

Food for Thought: A Federal Safe Harbor for non-custodial cryptocurrency users

Law enforcement is learning about the benefits of open networks.

Comments to the European Securities and Markets Authority on its Consultation on Distributed Ledger Technology Applied to Securities Markets

New California digital currency bill is a step backwards

Neither the CFTC nor multi-sig are to blame for the Bitfinex hack

A Florida court just dismissed a money laundering case and said that bitcoin isn’t “money.”

Patents for an open source project sound scary, but it makes sense.

The UK’s new blockchain welfare benefits trial has privacy advocates freaking out.

DAOs: the internet is weird again, and these are the regulatory issues

Why we need a federal fintech charter

Slides from Consensus Workshop: Regulating the Blockchain

Second Letter to the Uniform Law Commission

When does a company actually control customer bitcoins?

Why Bitcoin is not the root cause of ransomware

Letter to the Uniform Law Commission

No, FinCEN Policy is not Relevant to the Bitcoin Forking Debate

Is Bitcoin a Security?

What are Forks, Alt-coins, Meta-coins, and Sidechains?

What last week’s European VAT ruling means for bitcoin fungibility

Letter to Conference of State Bank Supervisors

Released Today: Updated State Digital Currency Principles and Framework

Freshly Unveiled CSBS Model Regs: Good Goals, Poor Execution

Sponsor of California’s Bitcoin bill responds to critics, here’s our take

BitLicense: It’s not just for New Yorkers

Connecticut and Bitcoin: A legislative question mark

Bitcoin: Risk Factors for Insurance

The 325-year-old Company that’s Learning about Bitcoin

Our thoughts on the BitLicense: California is Winning

Tracking Bitcoin Regulation State by State

Wall Street is using Bitcoin, not just the blockchain.

Coin Center files comment on NY DFS revised BitLicense proposal

Comment on Revised NY DFS BitLicense Proposal

CFPB Proposed Rules Relating to Prepaid Accounts Comment

Coin Center comments on CFPB proposal to regulate digital currencies

Bitcoin: Our Best Tool for Privacy and Identity on the Internet

Bitcoin May Be What Gets Us Real Net Neutrality

Apple Pay isn’t enough to fix a broken payment system

Report: Bitcoin enables unprecedented financial privacy and security

Steady Sentiment and the Problem of Scams

CSBS Virtual Currency Framework Comment

Should You Trust This Secretive Chinese Bitcoin Mine?

Reporting from the EU Parliament: Building an Open Bitcoin Coalition

Coin Center’s new Bitcoin Public Sentiment Survey

Reporting back from the Blockchain Workshops at MIT and Harvard

Boston and the Blockchain this weekend; we’ll be there.

Some perspective on Bitstamp

What is Bitcoin mining, and why is it necessary?