Category Archives: Blockchain

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Tokenization: Opportunity and Regulation, Finding a Balance

Tokenization Tokenization limits the exposure of sensitive information and makes digital transactions more secure.  Whether people realize it or not, millions of Americans already use tokenization technology on a daily basis.  Recent developments in blockchain systems and decentralized finance create new uses for tokenization, raising legal questions as to how existing regulatory frameworks will apply … Continue Reading

Wyoming Takes the Lead With Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

It is called the Cowboy state for a reason. With varied terrain and a hearty population Wyoming has long been a haven for independent thinkers and doers – pioneers.  The Wyoming legislature recently underscored that truth with the first state law addressing governance issues for decentralized autonomous organizations or “DAO(s).”  We are not talking self-driving … Continue Reading

Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny

The Situation Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain … Continue Reading

Blockchain Patentability Through The Lens Of A Recent PTAB Decision

Blockchain patent applications may be divided into two types: underlying technologies of blockchain, such as consensus methods, security, etc., and applications of blockchain in, e.g., fintech, legal, and other industries. In patent examination, the first type, because it recites underlying technology improvement, rarely elicits subject matter rejections. The second type, applications of blockchain, are often … Continue Reading

Regulatory Approaches to the Tokenisation of Assets

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report on Regulatory Approaches to the Tokenisation of Assets (Jan. 2021).  The report notes that: “Policy makers in different jurisdictions have approached tokenisation in different ways, either by applying existing financial regulations to tokenised assets; by introducing new tailor-made regulatory frameworks or by adapting existing … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … 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 … Continue Reading

Azure Heroes – Microsoft Partners With Enjin to Offer Crypto Collectible Rewards

Microsoft has announced a partnership with Enjin to offer a blockchain based recognition program. Azure Heroes aims to reward individuals for verifiable acts of impact such as coaching, creating demos, building sample code, blogging about Azure or completing certain challenges. Community members that have demonstrated their contributions will be recognized with badges across a number of categories. … Continue Reading

Blockchain Technology Continues to Support a Flourishing Music Industry

For the first time since 2007, the Recording Industry Association of America is reporting that the United States retail music market is on its way to becoming a $10 billion market. Streaming royalties account for a majority of this growth along with new use cases entering the marketplace. New technologies and content offerings have and continue … Continue Reading

Blockchain Continues to Make Headway in the Energy Industry

Recent developments in the energy sector indicate that blockchain technology is being embraced to address a range of issues including network security and improved integration of renewable generation and demand response resources. This emerging technology continues to have the potential to become a disrupter in the energy industry.… Continue Reading

FinCEN – We Will Identify Where Compliance Is Not Taking Place And Take Appropriate Action

Last week we reported that FinCEN had issued new guidance addressing cryptocurrency and other convertible virtual currency. The need for compliance was reinforced this week. In a speech by Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, during blockchain week in NY, a stern warning was issued. The message was clear. Regulatory compliance is … Continue Reading

FinCEN Updates Guidance on Crypto

FinCEN has issued  2 new guidance documents addressing cryptocurrency and other convertible virtual currency (CVC). The guidance does not establish any new regulatory expectations. Rather, it consolidates current FinCEN regulations, guidance and administrative rulings that relate to money transmission involving virtual currency, and applies the same interpretive criteria to other common business models involving CVC. … Continue Reading

Blockchain Games and Collectibles – Patents and Other Legal Issues

The use of blockchain (or distributed ledger) technology for games (a.k.a blockchain games) and token-based digital collectibles is on the rise. The overnight popularity of CryptoKitties was as significant to raising the awareness of digital collectibles as Pokémon Go was to location-based AR games. However, the ecosystem extends well beyond CryptoKitties, and is growing rapidly. … Continue Reading

How Blockchain Technology Brings Value to Healthcare

Blockchain applications for healthcare have garnered significant attention recently. For example, as we recently blogged, five major healthcare companies – Humana, MultiPlan, Optum, Quest Diagnostics, and UnitedHealthcare – formed the Synaptic Health Alliance (the “Alliance”) to explore how blockchain technology could resolve current healthcare issues.… Continue Reading

The Synaptic Health Alliance: A Look at how Blockchain Technology Could Improve Provider Data Quality

In 2018, five major healthcare companies – Humana, MultiPlan, Optum, Quest Diagnostics, and UnitedHealthcare – formed the Synaptic Health Alliance (the “Alliance”) to explore how blockchain technology could resolve current healthcare issues. The Alliance launched its first pilot program in April 2018 to focus on specific ways that “blockchain technology can help ensure the most … Continue Reading

Security Tokens — A Superior Platform for Securities Holding and Trading

The use of digital securities or security tokens has coincided with the explosion of crypto-currencies and efforts to establish Internet-traded coins or tokens with utility as a form of currency. Lost amidst the enthusiasm over the revolutionary implications of crypto-currencies is the simple fact that security tokens which use block-chain technology and smart contracts have … Continue Reading

Smart Contract Developers – Beware and Lawyer Up!

Smart contracts, also referred to as chaincode in the Hyperledger world, are one of the most powerful aspects of blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). This “self-executing” code can receive various inputs and, based on “if-then” logic encoded therein, can take various actions and update the ledger state. Based on recent actions by U.S. regulators, … Continue Reading

Considering Blockchain In The Electricity Industry

A version of this article originally appeared on Law360 on November 7, 2018. Blockchain technology and smart contracts have the potential to become major disrupters in the energy industry. For example, these technologies may accelerate the automation of some or all aspects of the electricity delivery transaction chain and allow for more decentralized, efficient electricity … Continue Reading

Crypto Firms Make Inroads with State and Federal Regulators

Over the past couple of years, the crypto industry has come under heavy scrutiny from skeptical regulators seeking to root out fraud and protect investors amid the initial coin offering boom that generated over $4 billion in 2017. However, this skepticism is starting to give way to a more business-friendly attitude. Crypto firms have made … Continue Reading

10 Things to Know About The Intersection of Blockchain Technology, Open Source Software, and Patents

On their own, blockchain technology, open source software, and patents each present legal issues that are often complex and frequently misunderstood. When combined, the complexity and misunderstandings of these three topics are magnified. This set of issues is important now because blockchain technology is on the verge of mainstream commercialization and much of it relies … Continue Reading

Blockchain. Bringing A Chorus of Cheers to the Music Industry

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has great potential to solve many of the fundamental challenges facing the music industry today. Blockchain technology including distributed, decentralized ledgers, smart contracts, and the ability to tokenize digital assets, is uniquely suited to address issues such as rights management, licensing, copyright ownership, royalty tracking and reporting and the … Continue Reading

The Blockchain-based Supply Chain Adoption Tipping Point?

Blockchain has long been touted as having transformational potential. Yet, the commercial adoption has been slow. As with any cutting-edge technology, commercial adoption usually requires some tipping point. For adoption of blockchain-based supply chain, the tipping point may just have occurred. According to a recent article, starting in September 2019, Walmart and its Sam’s Club … Continue Reading
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