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]

Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News-Issue 5 (4/29/2018)

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 $.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

Accord Project to Define Standard for Smart Legal Contract Language (prnewswire.com)

Accord Project today [4/27/2018] published the first working draft and prototype for Ergo, a domain specific language for smart legal contracts. Designed to capture the operational details of legal contracts, Ergo supports contracts and clauses as first-class elements of the language, allowing lawyers and developers to quickly, easily and safely develop and verify the operation of computable legal contracts.

Tonya M. Evans, Franklin Pierce Center for IP Professor, is a member of The Accord Project’s Intellectual Property Working Group, led by Michael J. Riesen, Esq.

Intellectual Property

IBM Files Patent For Proof-Of-Work Protocol Tailored To IoT Networks (CoinTelegraph.com)

Tech giant IBM has filed a patent for an Internet of Things (IOT)-focused Blockchain configuration which would tailor the proof-of-work (PoW) protocol in order to address potential security issues in IoT networks, in an application published April 26. More …

Sony Files Patent for Digital Rights Storage on a Blockchain (CCN.com)

Japan’s Sony has filed an application for a patent to store users’ digital rights data on the blockchain, and it stands to disrupt another industry.

The patent application, which was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office on April 26, has made its way to the top of the queue. It’s dubbed Blockchain-Based Digital Rights Management (DRM) and it was filed by both Tokyo-based Sony Corp and Culver City, Calif-based Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Amazon wins patent for data feed marketplace that could include bitcoin transactions (CNBC.com)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday [4/17/2018] approved the Amazon.com subsidiary’s September 2014 filing for a patent that can correlate different data streams and sell the combined feed as a subscription to people who want to track that data. The filing referenced bitcoin transactions twice as examples of possible products. More …

Law & Government

REALLY Smart (and Legal!) Contracts (medium.com)

In this article, Clause CTO Dan Selman introduces smart legal contracts as well as the Open Source Accord Project.

Women in Blockchain and the Future of Smart Contracts (Law.com)

The gender gap in blockchain may be more abysmal than it is in law, but I’ll tell you this: If Blockchain@Berkeley’s she(256) conference is any indication, it isn’t because there’s a pipeline problem. The day-long event on the UC Berkeley campus featured women who are true experts in the field and was attended by lots of young women – and not a few men – eager to hear what they had to say. It also yielded insights into the future shape of “smart contracts,” and how the blockchain community is feeling about recent regulatory pressure. (For those unfamiliar, “she(256)” is a play on “sha(256),” the 256-bit Secure Hash Algorithm used in Bitcoin mining). More …

A Former Top Wall Street Regulator Turns to the Blockchain (NYTimes.com)

Gary Gensler was one of the top financial regulators in the Obama administration, the finance chief for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and, before both of those jobs, a partner at Goldman Sachs. Now, like many other big names from business and government, he is plunging into the world of the blockchain, the data-tracking technology introduced by Bitcoin. More …

Predicting the Emergence of Common Law Through Blockchain (Nasdaq.com)

A majority of the world’s economic activity now operates completely online. The Internet has surpassed regular jurisdictional avenues of governance and commerce channels. What’s more, the markets that were once regulated by bureaucratic, old-world systems are becoming increasingly more complex.

All of this digital activity is driving the need for new common law solutions. The infrastructure that exists today is not prepared to efficiently handle the billions of transactions and international trades that the new age of commerce has ushered in. Thankfully, there is a way for the world to create an efficient mode of control – and that’s with blockchain technology. More …

Cases

In First Post ‘Cyan’ Decision, Court Splits Blockchain Lawsuit Into Two (Law.com)

Education

How Blockchain is Making it Easier to Get Educated Online (LiveBitcoinNews.com)

Nowadays, there are plenty of platforms where users can take a course and learn new skills from the comfort of their own home. It’s a big leap forward, but it still has downsides. These platforms can be expensive, and the creators of the educational content that we love are often underpaid and undervalued. It’s time to change things up, and build a new way of sharing educational content that benefits both publishers and consumers. Of all the ways to do this, blockchain technology is turning out to be one of the most promising. More …

Events

Women on the Block
Kicks off Blockchain Week NYC and features women thought leaders in the blockchain community.
May 13 || 10:30 AM – 7PM || Brooklyn, NY
learn more + register

Women4Blockchain Hackathon + Conference

June 1 – 4, 2018 New York University School of Law
learn more + register 

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]

Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News-Issue 4 (4/22/2018)

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 $.

Tweet me your news items.

Top Story

New York Attorney General sends inquiry to 13 major cryptocurrency exchanges requesting disclosure on their operations, use of bots, conflicts of interest, outages, and more. The list of exchanges includes some of the most popular and notable: Coinbase [$], Gemini [$],  bitFlyer, Bitfinex, Bitstamp [$], Payward, Kraken, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance and itBit. At least one exchange pushes back, says no.

Intellectual Property Continue reading “Hot off the presses, this week’s #CryptoSmartEsq News-Issue 4 (4/22/2018)”