Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


Chelsea Deppert


The classification and treatment of virtual currency, like bitcoin, under the Bankruptcy Code is unsettled. Because the Code affords greater protections to currencies than to commodities, bitcoin's classification has far-reaching implications in the context of bankruptcy; however, no bankruptcy court has yet affirmatively ruled on bitcoin's treatment. This Comment first explores what bitcoins are and the respective arguments for each classification in the currency versus commodity debate. Then, this Comment examines the current legal treatment of bitcoin and bitcoin-specific issues in bankruptcy. Finally, this Comment argues that bitcoin must be affirmatively classified and proposes a licensing solution to bitcoin's classification; and then explores the effects this solution would have in bankruptcy.