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UK Law Commission Closes in on Crypto Regulation

Legal standards that have stood the test of time could be challenged by the results of the review conducted by the Law Commission of England and Wales.

Across the world, authorities are exploring ways to tighten their grip over crypto assets. In England and Wales, it’s the law commission, and in the United States, it’s the Security and Exchange Commission. 

Although regulators can only offer guidelines, they do not make the laws that will inform policy direction in how cryptos activities could be conducted. However, legislators that enact these laws may lack the competence required to formulate legislation that could guide policies in using digital assets.

The U.K. government, realizing this,  has tasked an independent commission of high court judges, attorneys, and law experts to understudy the cryptocurrency sector and recommend ways it could be regulated.

Funded by the U.K. Ministry of Justice, the Law Commission for England and Wales is conducting numerous crypto-focused projects to establish the best method to address Web3 technologies such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and digital assets under new or current laws.

According to a project concluded by the Law Commission in November of last year, the current law of contract in England and Wales may be applied to the smart contracts that underpin crypto transactions. Due to the worldwide nature of digital assets, it is also working on a conflict of laws study to establish which courts should handle issues involving digital assets.

Recently, the organization produced a consultation document outlining its position that cryptocurrencies should be regarded as personal property to make it simpler for investors to recover stolen or lost assets.

Professor Sarah Green, the commercial and common law commissioner, estimates that the U.K. parliament implements around two-thirds of the Commission’s recommendations. The effect of the Commission’s activities can extend to other jurisdictions.

According to U.S. Judge Martin Glenn, who is now managing the bankruptcy proceedings for Celsius, the court “may examine” the Commission’s consultation paper on digital assets in the circumstances without legal precedents.

The Law Commission’s initiatives couldn’t have come at a better time, given that the U.K. government is committed to transforming the country into a global center for crypto.

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