Andrew Balthazor: The Bona Fide Acquisition Rule Applied to Cryptocurrency


April 30th, 2021

54 mins 14 secs

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TODAY'S 🎙SHOW: Douglas Tuman interviews Andrew Balthazor, currently a judicial law clerk at the United States district court For the southern district in Florida and author of a legal research paper that applies the bona fide acquisition rule to cryptcurrency.

The bona fide acquisition rule is a common law principal that originates from Roman Law, that allows an innocent purchaser to acquire certain types of stolen property free from the risk that the property may be claimed by the rightful owner. One such property that the rule applies to is cash.

Primarily, for the policy reason that in order for commerce to flow freely, innocent receivers of cash in a transaction should not be at risk of having someone claim ownership to the cash they received. Whereas with property like a painting ,the rule would not apply, and the innocent purchaser of a stolen painting would not be considered the rightful owner if it can be proven to have been stolen.

In this episode, Andrew discusses his analysis which focused on bitcoin and boils down to whether bitcoin should be considered cash-like or rather should be considered more like property with traceable title ownership given its transparent ledger. Doug and Andrew apply the same analysis to Monero, reasoning the bona fide acquisition rule would more clearly apply to Monero than Bitcoin, given Monero’s cash-like fungibility. The ultimate deduction being monero acts better as money than bitcoin.


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