Hot off the presses, #CryptoSmartEsq News-Issue 7 (5/20/2018)

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, my carefully curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes. Affiliate links noted with $.

Leave a comment and tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Crypto Self-Governance Touted as Solution to Regulatory ‘Mess’

“The question of whether self-regulation will help solve some of the cryptocurrency industry’s problems was on full display Monday during CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference.

Part of the problem, according to panelist Gary DeWaal, a legal expert who focuses on financial services, is that existing rules as they relate to the tech are “an absolute mess.” And this situation, he contended, isn’t going away anytime soon.” [Read more at CoinDesk.com …]

Intellectual Property

Blockchain-based company Photochain takes another step forward to build a global brand  to enable any digital image contributor to have full control over licensing and trading of their images.

Leader of “Global copyright register” company, Copytrack, explains how the service works … in 60 seconds!

Law & Government

“The companies might not seek a bank charter, which would significantly ramp up regulatory scrutiny. Any decision to do so would depend on whether they think the benefits of becoming a bank outweigh the costs.

A federal banking charter would let the firms swap a hodgepodge of state regulators for one primary federal one. The companies would also gain the option of directly offering customers federally insured bank accounts and other services, rather than joining with existing banks.” [Read more at WSJ.com …]

“In a review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings, The Wall Street Journal has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.” [Read more at WSJ.com …]

Cases

The three co-founders of cryptocurrency firm Centra Tech have all been indicted by a grand jury, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced Monday.

Raymond Trapani, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas have all been accused of planning to defraud investors through their company’s token sale. U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami further announced that authorities had recovered more than $60 million in funds from the co-founders.” [Read more at TechCrunch.com …]

Education

The regulator announced [recently] it has launched a mock ICO called HoweyCoin, presumably named after the Howey Test, which “touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity.” However, the company notes, “the offer isn’t real.” Users who try to invest in the token sale will instead be redirected to the regulator’s education tools, which are aimed at pointing out the signs of fraudulent token sales.” [Read more at CoinDesk.com …]

Events

Professor Evans to speak at the following events:

May 31, 2018

June 14, 2018

June 21-23, 2018

  • Panelist, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies seminar organized by Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson (The Bahamas)

List of Blockchain 2018 Events [CoinDesk.com]

Working Groups, Committees, & Orgs


Signup for Coinbase to receive $10 in $BTC after you buy or sell $100 worth of $BTC

[previous issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]

Hot off the presses, #CryptoSmartEsq News-Issue 6 (5/14/2018) Facebook crypto, Winklevoss patent & more

By Professor Tonya M. Evans

Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, my carefully curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto. 

If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes. Affiliate links noted with $.

Leave a comment and tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Facebook is “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar. It’s not the first time the idea of a Facebook coin has been floated, but the plans take on some greater meaning in light of Facebook’s recently reshuffled executive structure and newly formed blockchain group. [CNBC.com: read more …]

Intellectual Property

Winklevoss Brothers Win Crypto Exchange Patent

Winklevoss IP, the company owned by Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has been awarded with a patent claim that aims to settle exchange traded products (ETPs) holding cryptocurrencies.

The company outlined a system that can execute transactions for ETPs holding cryptocurrencies “such as bitcoins … ripple, dogecoins … ether” as well as BBQCoin, among others, according to patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. The company first filed the application in December of last year.

[Read more at CoinDesk.com]

ODEM Files Patents on Its Blockchain-based Education Marketplace

ODEM, creator of the world’s first On-Demand Education Marketplace, has filed a provisional U.S. patent application on two critical components of its blockchain-based education platform.

ODEM and Dr. Adel ElMessiry, the company’s chief technology mentor, are asserting their ownership rights to the platform’s system of staking, or registering for, academic programs as well as unique design aspects of the ODEM Platform’s digital token model.

[Read more at PRNewsWire.com …]

Law & Government

Bermuda’s Blockchain Strategy Goes Beyond Just Winning New Business

Bermuda is one of several small territories and microstates striving to leverage their nimble governments to attract blockchain and crypto businesses by creating regulatory certainty where other, larger governments have failed to deliver thus far. Liechtenstein, Malta, Gibraltar and, most recently, San Marino have joined the race alongside Bermuda, all offering proposals – and in some cases formal legislation – that promise “comprehensive blockchain legislation.”

[Read more at CoinDesk.com …]

Australian Government Budget injects $700K for Blockchain Research

The government of Australia has allocated AUD $700,000 (approx. $520,000) from its federal budget to its Digital Transformation Agency to research blockchain applications in government services.

Announced as a part of its 2018-19 federal budget, the government will use the funds from the Agency’s existing resources over the next four years.

An excerpt from the Budget document reads:

The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services.

[Read more at CCN.com …]

Papua New Guinea is the Newest Kid on the Deregulated Economic Block(chain)

Papua New Guinea, a small nation in the Pacific island region of Asia, is the newest country to offer economic freedoms and government support for blockchain companies looking to conduct token offerings. It will join Singapore, Malta, Switzerland, The Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein, and other smaller countries as one of the premier crypto-friendly countries in the world.

[Read more at CoinCentral.com …]

‘An Epic Fail’: Colorado Blockchain Bill Hits the Skids

The bill would have exempted certain digital currencies from being regulated as securities under the Colorado Securities Act.

Colorado’s blockchain bill, House Bill 1426, would have also been a boon for innovation in the state was making its way through the State Assembly but got derailed abruptly on Wednesday in a vote.

HB 1426 was all but on its way to the governor’s desk after seemingly passing both the House and Senate votes. But the approval of the bill by the Senate was overturned when in a final vote a couple of state senators had a change of heart. The final tally in the third reading of the bill was 17 yea votes and 18 nay votes.

[Read more at CCN.com …]

Cases

Next issue

Education

Next issue

Events

List of 2018 Events (CoinDesk.com)

Working Groups, Committees, & Orgs


Signup for Coinbase to receive $10 in $BTC after you buy or sell $100 worth of $BTC

[previous issue of CryptoSmartEsq News]