When is a cryptocurrency transfer international in distributed ledger technology-based systems?

Burcu Yuksel Ripley* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryptocurrencies, introduced in 2009 with the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, have grown sig-nificantly in recent years and attracted attention globally. One of the main characteristics of cryptocurrencies and their key innovation is that they are underpinned by distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain as a type of DLT. This technology enables cryptocurrencies to be transferred, stored or traded electronically within DLT-based systems in a peer-to-peer man-ner among (pseudonymous) system participants across the world without the involvement of the usual central trusted authorities or intermediaries such as banks. This raises the question of if, and how, one should ascertain internationality for cryptocurrency transfers taking place within truly global systems underpinned by DLT for private international law purposes. This article aims to raise awareness of and address the question of internationality in the con-text of cryptocurrency transfers in DLT-based systems. It considers internationality in private international law, potential factors that might be relevant in ascertaining internationality for cryptocurrency transfers through a comparison to that for electronic funds transfers (EFTs), and the approaches of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) and the Hague Conference for Private International Law (HCCH) on internationality in their current projects concerning digital assets and digital economy respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-201
Number of pages21
JournalEU and Comparative Law Issues and Challenges (ECLIC)
Issue numberSpecial Issue - Law in the Age of Modern Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

This paper is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The paper reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Distributed Ledger Technology
  • Foreign element
  • Internationality
  • Private International Law

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