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Blockchain & The Law Roundup 24 October 2017

We aren’t drowning in stories today. But, each piece we’ve highlighted below illustrates the speed with which blockchain and the law are becoming inextricably entwined. Look left or look right, it doesn’t matter, law firm blockchain and cryptocurrency practices appear before our very eyes. We are also very intrigued by new startup, Jury Online, who aim to use the blockchain to manage and process simpler and lower courts cases wthout the use of a legal professional.


Title: Canadian Firm, Gowlings, Launches Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Practice

Author: Investment

Date: 24 October 2017


Extract:  Gowling WLG has launched a team that specializes in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the Toronto-based law firm has announced.

The firm’s new blockchain and smart contracts group — which includes lawyers with expertise in several areas, including capital markets, intellectual property, litigation, and tax — focuses on blockchain-related applications, such as initial coin offerings, smart contracts, cryptocurrency exchanges, digital wallets, and the associated legal and regulatory issues in these emerging areas.

“More and more, our clients are recognizing the unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth offered by blockchain technology. However, as the regulatory space surrounding blockchain continues to mature, legal obstacles can make it difficult to fully embrace the benefits of the technology,” says Usman Sheikh, partner and head of the new blockchain unit in Canada, in a statement.


Title:  Europe: Blockchain – How “smart” are Smart Contracts?

Author: Lexology / Lime Green IP

Date: 24 October 2017


Extract:  In this series of blog posts, we take a look at the current state of play regarding blockchain technology as well as the legal setting with a European and German focus.

How smart are smart contracts? With this question, we take a look at the next topic. After dealing with the bitcoin virtual currency in our last post, so-called “smart contracts” is another widely discussed application of blockchains.

Particularly in the financial sector, the advantages and disadvantages as well as the possibly disruptive nature of the use of smart contracts are currently being weighed-up fairly intensively. In the area of FinTech, not only are start-ups trying to use this digital technology profitably, but the “established” financial institutions alre also testing very precisely in which areas the application of smart contracts is possible and advantageous. Still, the financial industry is just one business segment in which business processes and transactions could increasingly be depicted and processed through smart contracts in the course of advancing digitization.


Title: wants to replace lawyers with blockchain technology

Author: Venture

Date: 23 October 2017


Extract: — which has announced presale of its tokens (JOT) today — is using the blockchain to make it easier to settle smaller claims, because it intends to eradicate the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars spent on the lawyers needed to win or defend these cases.

This isn’t, of course, the first time that emerging technologies have been able to step in and succeed at replacing lawyers. The DoNotPay bot has already squashed hundreds of thousands of parking tickets. That solution uses a chatbot as its basis, whereas is using blockchain technology to provide complete transparency throughout the process and resolve issues using smart contracts.


Title: In The World Of Cryptocurrencies, The ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Guy Is A Paragon Of Probity And Reason You don’t have to be an admitted securities fraudster of international repute to see how the ICO space might be tempting to crooks.

Author: Above The Law

Date: 23 October 2017


Extract: “Promoters [of ICOs] are perpetuating a massive scam of the highest order on everyone,” he said. “Probably 85 percent of people out there don’t have bad intentions, but the problem is, if five or 10 per cent are trying to scam you, it’s a fucking disaster.”

There’s no irony in convicted scammer warns of scam here; game recognizes game. A guy famous for conning mom-and-pop investors out of at least $200 million understands intuitively that the bitcoin world is awash in opportunities for snake-oil peddlers. In fact, he might even be a bit melancholy that he can’t participate:



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