Blockchain and EU Competition Law

There are a number of uses of blockchain technology which may give rise to competition concerns. As a distributed ledger where transactions are recorded in real time and are accessible to everyone within that network, blockchain makes at least some transaction information accessible to users within the network. The available information can provide insights on highly sensitive commercial business transactions and/or strategies. Blockchains can also be seen as a decentralized model of data storage including payment transactions, purchase history, corporate accounts, pricing history as well as future changes to pricing. These characteristics can expose users of blockchain technology to competition law concerns, the most obvious of which are detailed in our whitepaper. Continue Reading

Will Blockchain Game Use Drive Greater Overall Blockchain Adoption?

The use of blockchain technology by game companies is nascent but growing. As a transaction based-technology, blockchain is well suited to manage in game economies through tokenized game assets and the use of cryptocurrency for payment. This also provides a benefit to players in that they can truly own their assets, as opposed to just having a terminable license as is the case with most traditional online games. Blockchain and NFTs hold great promise. If your business gets involved with these technologies it is critical to get solid legal advice before you get too far down the road. Continue Reading

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Affirms Authority of a National Bank to Provide Cryptocurrency Custody Services

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) recently signaled its approval for banks to fully wade into the cryptocurrency custodian space.  On in a July 22, 2020 interpretive letter, the OCC concluded that a national bank may provide cryptocurrency custody services on behalf of its customers, including by holding the unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency, so long as the institution is able to effectively manage the risks and complies with applicable law. Continue Reading

Fans Get Kick Out of FC Barcelona’s Crypto-based Fan Token

As another example of crypto tokens going mainstream, team Barcelona sold 1.2 million euro worth of fan tokens in less than two hours. The 600,000 tokens were sold at a fixed price of 2 euro, and are tradeable on Socios.com and Chiliz.net. The crypto tokens, called $BAR, provide fans various types of engagement with the team. Continue Reading

Is Esports Betting Sports Betting in Iowa?

Under Section 99E: a “Fantasy sports contest” includes any fantasy or simulated game or contest …” and 99E.2 states: “The system of entering an internet fantasy sports contest as provided by this chapter is legal when conducted by a licensed internet fantasy sports contest service provider as provided in this chapter.” Continue Reading

Google Partners with Theta Labs as Validator Node

As part of a multi-faceted deal, Google will become a validator node for Theta’s Mainnet 2.0. As part of the deal, Google Cloud will become Theta’s preferred cloud provider. Theta also plans to further collaborate with Google’s artificial intelligence, machine-learning and big-data initiatives. Another big draw for Theta is that Google owns YouTube. According to Theta, Youtube’s internally-developed technology for video delivery and streaming makes experimentation a lot easier. Continue Reading

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – Paving the Way for a Cross-Border Fintech Sandbox

Key Takeaways

  1. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides for financial and digital trade regulations that harmonize the treatment of fintech companies.
  2. North American companies leveraging digital assets for payments should consider strategic regional opportunities available under the new USMCA fintech Framework.
  3. The USMCA Parties (member countries) continue to license fintech companies using cryptocurrency and create regulatory sandboxes to incentivize experimentation with the new technology under relaxed regulatory conditions.

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FinCEN Director Addresses COVID-19 Related Virtual Currency Issues at Consensus Blockchain Conference

On May 13, 2020, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Director Kenneth Blanco delivered remarks to the Consensus Blockchain Conference regarding the agency’s recent observations in connection with virtual currencies, including the current risks of criminal exploitation of virtual currency, significant issues FinCEN anticipates for virtual currencies in the future, and the industry’s compliance with the Travel Rule. Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency Miners I“rate” At Energy Rate Decision

A Washington state federal court recently addressed claims relating to rates that cryptocurrency mining companies pay for electricity in Grant County, Washington. The court rejected all of the miner’s legal claims. The dispute focused on the rate classification that this utility applied to crypto miners as explained below.  Due to various risks, the electric utility assigned the miners to a newly created rate class referred to as “Evolving Industries,” resulting in a higher rate class for the miners.  The miners were I-“rate” with this decision. Continue Reading

Powered by Blockchain

A recent report indicates the use of blockchain technology in the energy sector is continuing to grow. According to the report, the global market for this use of blockchain technology is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 52.9% during the forecast period 2018-2026. One of the big drivers of this growth is that some of the biggest technology companies are investing in making this technology available for the energy sector. The payers include: Accenture, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Deloitte, IBM Corportaion, Grid+, NOdalblock, SAP SE, Power Ledger Pty. Ltd. and Amazon Web Services, Inc., to name a few. Continue Reading

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