New Book by Law Professor Covers Expanding World of Cryptoassets

Carol Goforth
University Relations

Carol Goforth

Regulation of Cryptotransactions, University Professor Carol Goforth's new textbook published this week, covers the expanding world of cryptotransactions to examine how the laws applicable to cryptoassets are evolving.

Launched in early 2009, Bitcoin was the first and perhaps most popular cryptoasset, in terms of media attention, but today there are thousands of such assets, which have a total market value exceeding $275 billion. These assets are based on blockchain technology and have unique attributes. As nothing more tangible than a string of numbers, they simultaneously look like data, work like currency, act like property, function like securities and trade like commodities. This range of features makes the regulatory environment for cryptoassets particularly complex.

Goforth introduces readers to crypto and explains how it is created, how it functions and how it is used. She then discusses why crypto is regulated, by which agencies, and how existing regulations work in the context of cryptotransactions. Although it is a textbook, Regulation of Cryptotransactions is not technical in nature and requires no special background in programming or regulatory regimes to be understood.

Regulation of Cryptotransactions is the first book of its kind covering federal regulation of cryptotransactions in the United States, Goforth said. There are books dealing with how to invest in cryptoassests, but there have been few resources for law students or legal practitioners.

"I find the topic of cryptoregulation to be endlessly fascinating, even though it is incredibly complex," Goforth said. "The issues that arise involve so many different areas of law, which means that providing competent advice is challenging even after there is a baseline understanding of what crypto is. It is fabulous to be able to introduce students to these concepts, because in all likelihood, they will then know more about this subject than most experienced lawyers."

Goforth teaches business-oriented courses at the School of Law, in addition to a course on regulation of cryptotransactions that is open to law students, graduate students and undergraduate seniors from other units on campus. She writes and comments frequently on crypto, including multiple law review articles and an blog post at the Oxford Business Law Blog.

Goforth was elected to the prestigious American Law Institute in 1999, and has been active in many state and national legal organizations and bar associations. She earned her bachelor's degree and juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas.

Published by West Academic Publishing, Regulation of Cryptotransactions is part of the publisher's American Casebook Series, generally geared towards law students, although this book contains a range of footnoted sources that make it useful to practicing attorneys as well. 

West Academic is the leading publisher in the U.S. of casebooks, treatises, study guides, and other legal materials in both print and digital media formats. Founded on the principle of making legal information more accessible, and rooted in a long history of legal expertise and innovation, it has been a leader in legal education publishing for more than 100 years.

Goforth is the Clayton N. Little Professor of Law.


Carol Goforth, University Professor
School of Law

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officer
University Relations


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