Powers On… Top 5 crypto legal and regulatory developments of 2021 – Cointelegraph Magazine

While still leading the securities litigation, hedge fund and SEC defense national practices at my last law firm, BakerHostetler, my practice team members and I would prepare an annual list of key developments and cases in the area each December.

It was usually a top 10 list that was then published by Wolters Kluwer in one of its CCH publications and by BakerHostetler as a separate publication to our law firm clients. Now that I am officially “retired” from law firm practice and these days devote most of my professional attention to the blockchain and crypto space, my editor, Max Yakubowski, and I thought it made sense to do something similar for Cointelegraph’s readers.

Powers On… is a monthly opinion column from Marc Powers, who spent much of his 40-year legal career working with complex securities-related cases in the United States after a stint with the SEC. He is now an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, where he teaches a course on “Blockchain, Crypto and Regulatory Considerations.” 

So, here is my top five list for 2021. It has some caveats attached. For one, the blockchain space has so many dimensions, some implicating finance and many that do not. The use cases for this ledger technology expand each year, constrained only by human ingenuity. This list focuses on developments this year that affect financial transactions and systems. It also focuses on what I perceive as key regulation, legislation and litigation affecting the ecosystem. Next, this is a top five list, not a top 10 one. While yes, there are dozens of issues and items that are transformative, that would be a much longer piece. Finally, some of the items on the list I have already written about in prior columns, so they will be familiar to regular readers. As a result, I don’t feel the need to provide lengthy explanations as to why an item made the list. 





1. El Salvador adopts BTC as a national currency

Back in June, at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced he would seek to have El Salvador adopt Bitcoin as a national currency. At the time,…



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