The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cryptoassets—essentials
  • What are cryptoassets?
  • Common terms associated with cryptoassets
  • Development of cryptoassets
  • Characteristics of cryptoassets
  • Cryptoassets as property
  • Considerations for businesses looking at cryptoasset technology
  • Cryptoassets, the smart contract and ICOs
  • Disputes involving cryptoassets
  • Regulation of cryptoassets
  • More...


BREXIT: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 (‘IP completion day’) marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Following IP completion day, key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see: Brexit and financial services: materials on the post-Brexit UK/EU regulatory regime.

What are cryptoassets?

A cryptoasset for the purposes of this Practice Note is data held on the blockchain which has been given certain characteristics meaning that the data is deemed to be an asset in its own right. We specifically use the term ‘cryptoasset’ in this Practice Note rather than ‘digital asset’ (as this is broader and may include any digital representation of an asset, such as uncertificated shares), ‘virtual currency’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ (on the basis that this generally is used to described exchange tokens in certain circumstances (as described below) only).

One of the hurdles in relation to understanding cryptoassets lies in the inconsistent use of language by regulators and market participants, and indeed the fact that most classifications are predicated on the desire to fit cryptoassets within a pre-existing legal framework means that certain types of cryptoassets, such as crypto-fuel, are not picked up.

As such, before looking at how cryptoassets have

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