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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


The Treatment of Cryptotokens at English Law: back to the future

30 July 2019

There has been much discussion around the appropriate treatment and characterisation of cryptotokens, both under English law and internationally. At the date of writing the current value of the largest virtual currency in existence, Bitcoin, is $185bn, the value of the second largest, Ethereum, is $23bn, and the value of the 100th largest – Stratis – is $55m.2 What these numbers tell us is that in discussing the legal structure which should apply to transactions in cryptotokens we are not proposing a framework for a future product, but establishing what the law is as regards a significant commercial activity existing today. We discuss this and the relevant existing frameworks under English law in this paper.

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