(cs writing here)

Although not unprecedented, an american had written his on bitcoin before going to Davis Polk & Wardwell, this might very well be the first one in Asia, at least in english. Pak Nian Lam has written a directed dissertation on the regulation of bitcoin.

It is heartening to see the greater attention as well as open approaches to the phenomenon that is the bitcoin protocol. Had it been so just a few years earlier I might have been able to do the same for my degree ;D

Some points to note:

Regarding the Bitcoin ATM, for the 1 way machines, yes in essence those would be vending machines. As for the 2 way, well 2 way vending machines do exist too. Whether one would want to characterise it as one or the other, could very well depends on the very facts and circumstances of that instance.

I see Litecoin and Dogecoin gets a mention

Micropayments is in

Note that the paper seems more focused on AML and Drug concerns

China is a bit off, but well, China is mixed

As a request generally to the whole world, would really like to see a whole paper comparing bitcoins to banking law, documentary credits, letters of credits, bills of lading, negotiable instruments and international trade and so on. (An upgrade of something I wrote)

You can download it at


Bitcoin in Singapore: A Light-Touch Approach to Regulation

Pak Nian Lam

National University of Singapore (NUS) – Faculty of Law

April 11, 2014


Bitcoin is a novel digital currency which is slowly gaining visibility. This paper sets out to answer some basic questions: What is it? How does it work? What are the risks? It introduces the Bitcoin technology, considers the call for regulation and answers it with a light-touch approach which bears the big picture in mind: looking at the micro, macro and international views of Bitcoin regulation while at the same time not quashing innovations like Bitcoin with heavy-handed regulation of manageable risks.


Number of Pages in PDF File: 73

Keywords: bitcoin, virtual currencies, banking, consumer protection, regulation

working papers series