Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Author: Simon Stokes

The House of Commons Treasury Committee has just published its Report on Digital Currencies – or as it now prefers to call them "crypto-assets" as they are not really currencies at all, at least not at the moment.  The Report's conclusions are that the area clearly needs regulating by the FCA – at a minimum the Report recommends that the issuance of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto exchange services are regulated. See here.

Read more: Regulating the "wild west" of digital currencies, crypto-assets, ICOs and smart contracts

Gravel & Shea is pleased to announce that our client, Trace LLC—a Vermont-based startup using blockchain technology to develop supply chain and inventory management tools for the legal cannabis industry—organized the first ever Vermont blockchain-based LLC on July 1, 2018.

Read more: Vermont Technology Company Creates First Blockchain-Based LLC

On a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, host Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Piper Alderman partner in the firm’s blockchain and cryptocurrency team, Michael Bacina.

Mike and Jerome delve into blockchain and cryptocurrency innovations that are changing the ways legal clients operate personally and professionally, and how those innovations affect the expectations clients have from their law firms.

The legal profession, and the regulatory landscape, is still figuring out how to navigate such changes. Mike shares his thoughts on where Australia is positioned relative to the rest of the world, how legal education and professional service delivery might evolve, and the challenges ahead.

Listen to the podcast.

Aurhors: Erin F. Fonté and Ferdose al-Taie

The recent flurry of activity and press coverage, over the past 18 months in particular, concerning “initial coin offerings” (also referred to as a “digital token sale”) has created confusion regarding their relationship to cryptocurrencies. While certainly connected in both concept and actuation, those with an interest in this burgeoning marketplace will be wise to note that both the risk and the regulatory landscape for existing cryptocurrencies (also referred to as “virtual currencies”) differ from ICOs/tokens. Those who forge ahead, uninformed, stand to learn an expensive lesson. We hope to illuminate certain fundamental concepts here.

Read more: Cryptocurrency vs. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO): Different Animals, Different Regulatory Concerns

Author: Jonathan W. Hugg

I recently attended the American Bar Association’s annual institute on blockchain technology, digital currency, and ICOs (initial coin offerings). Some might view these new technologies as libertarian, even revolutionary. Others might call it anarchy with hype reminiscent of the dot-com bubble. For attorneys, it is crucial to understand the commercial potential of these new tools if we are to properly advise clients about safely conducting business and limiting liability and risk. We may also face possible ethical responsibilities, as the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SE”) has called on attorneys to act as gatekeepers to maintain “high professional standards” in this developing field.

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