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Blockchain & The Law Roundup: Tuesday 7 November 2017

Apparently it’s all about “The Fork”, now, in the world of blockchain.  Coindesk explain the fork thus, Simply put, forks offer the possibility of exit. They give dissident minorities a third option beyond trying to change the majority’s minds or adapting to their preferences. A fork is a bloodless, 21st-century form of secession. If you are still in the dark do read their article, it’s an interesting development. We’ve also got Hogan Lovells exploring how the technology is changing capital markets and, amongst other things, The first global blockchain patent sharing alliance.


Title: How To Stop Worrying And Love The Fork

Author: Coin

Date: 7 November 2017


Extract:  November is going to be a nail-biter for bitcoin.

It’s unclear whether the Segwit2x hard fork, expected to take place around Nov. 18, will leave us with one or two cryptocurrencies. And with more than $110 billion of value on the line, it’s far from assured investors will come out ahead.

But let’s take a deep breath, step back and appreciate the beauty of the situation. Because while in the short term hard forks can be stressful, they may be a blessing in disguise.

The reason is that forks potentially represent a welcome innovation in the way people can resolve their differences. Simply put, forks offer the possibility of exit. They give dissident minorities a third option beyond trying to change the majority’s minds or adapting to their preferences. A fork is a bloodless, 21st-century form of secession.

This is hardly an original observation on my part.

In his recent essay entitled “Blockchain Man,” Taylor Pearson imagines a future where distributed computing leads to:

“A society defined by forking. The balance between voice and exit will tilt towards exit. … If you disagree with a decision, you can fork a new blockchain.”


Title: Blockchain Becoming The Rage At US Law Schools

Author: Business Daily Africa

Date: 6 November 2017


Extract:US business schools are beefing up training in the software that underlies digital currency bitcoin, a technology expected to be a game changer in many industries.

The move makes sense as more students seek careers in financial technology, or “fintech,” which has captivated leading Wall Street banks and been called “the most important technology since the internet.”

In January, the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley will offer its first ever course in blockchain software.

The Haas school, which is near San Francisco and Silicon Valley, will handpick 60 students from the departments of business, engineering and law and split them into groups of six to explore possible applications of the technology.

“When people think about blockchain they think about cryptocurrencies,” said Haas school lecturer Greg LaBlanc, who sees the technology as potentially disrupting many sectors.

“We believe it will have the biggest impact on contracting, logistics and supply chains, healthcare, public administration, assets clearing, property, transactions,” he said.

“Pretty much every function of businesses are going to be affected by this.”


Title: Tezos Founders Sued for Securities Fraud in Potential Class Action


Date: 3 November 2017


Extract:  A lawsuit seeking class action status has been filed in California against the founders and promoters of the controversial Tezos blockchain project.

The lawsuit represents the latest twist in the ongoing spat between Tezos founders Kathleen and Arthur Breitman and Johann Gevers, the head of the Tezos Foundation, a non-profit created to promote and support development of the project. The Breitmans accused Gevers of self-dealing, with Gevers alleging in turn that the Breitmans were seeking to assassinate his character and attempting to usurp control of the foundation.

That internal power struggle broke into public view earlier this month, stoking criticism of the project and raising questions about when the Tezos network would go live. It came months after the project raised a record $232 million in a token sale – the proceeds of which are now part of the dispute. The tokens have yet to be issued.

Submitted on Oct. 25 in the San Francisco branch of the Superior Court of California, the lawsuit names multiple defendants, including the Breitmans and Gevers.

Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc., a Delaware-based company owned by the Breitmans, the Tezos Foundation, and Strange Brew Strategies, a public relations firm that promoted the project ahead of its ICO, are also named as defendants.

The suit, filed by San Diego-based law firm Taylor-Copeland Law on behalf of plaintiff and Tezos ICO contributor Andrew Baker, alleges that the defendants violated U.S. securities law through the token sale. Specifically, the defendants are being accused of selling unregistered securities, committing securities fraud, false advertising and unfair competition (“by making material misrepresentations and omissions”).

When reached for comment, Baker Marquart attorney Brian Klein, who is representing the Breitmans, said that that his clients planned to “aggressively” fight the lawsuit.


Title: First Global Blockchain Patent Sharing Alliance Officially Launched

Author: CryptoVest

Date: 3 November 2017


Extract: Several blockchain entities from the US, China, and Canada, have launched the Blockchain Patent Sharing Alliance (BPSA), which aims to support, facilitate, and promote patent management via blockchain tech.

Last week, several blockchain-oriented companies from the US, China, and Canada initiated “the Blockchain Patent Sharing Alliance” (BPSA) – the first blockchain-based patent sharing alliance in the world. The new entity, located at Stanford University, in the Silicon Valley, has the mission to streamline patent sharing at the global level and support patent technology adoption.

The key members of the BPSA team are:

  • Honorary President – Dr. James E. Newsome, former Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission;
  • Honorary Consultant – John F. Wallace, former Chairman of NASDAQ;
  • Honorary Consultant – Tso-Ping Ma, Member of National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences;
  • Chairman – Grant G Tao – former lead counsel of Motorola.

BPSA focuses on three primary functions, which are patent protection, smart contracts, and cross-chain transactions. Blockchain patent users will now have the chance to benefit from affordable and time-saving solutions related to patent licensing. It is anticipated that patent owners will be able to freely operate with patent assets in a secure, legal and efficient ecosystem, where the BPSA will guarantee their rights.


Title:  Op Ed: Three Legal Pitfalls to Avoid in Blockchain Smart Contracts

Author: Bitcoin Magazine Guest Contributor is an attorney in the Commercial Litigation and Construction practices at Chamberlain Hrdlicka (Atlanta),

Date: November 2017


Extract:  These smart contracts are extremely tempting. They could easily increase the efficiency of your business, as well as save money that previously went to third parties. Smart contracts are becoming more popular in segments such as real estate, healthcare and securities, primarily due to these potential gains in efficiency and cost. However, this silver bullet of efficiency and lower cost doesn’t come without potential problems. First, will a court even consider a computer program to be a binding contract? Second, if disputes arise, where can the parties sue? Last, do the parties have to go to court, or is the less-expensive option of arbitration available?


Title:  Blockchain Annuity Startup Adds Legal Advisor Auctus will use the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform


Date: 1 November 2017


Extract:  The other legal advisor, Adam Greetis, is a partner in the benefits practice at the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.



Title: A Look At How Blockchain Could Redefine The Structure Of Capital Markets

Author: Lexology / Hogan Lovells

Date: 6 November 2017


Extract: Could blockchain redefine the structure of the capital markets? The venue for trading and the management of risks of trades have traditionally been the role of exchanges and market infrastructure organizations such as the central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs). But blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) have the potential to decentralize the system and eliminate the need not only for CCPs, but also for other trusted, regulated platforms through which the markets have operated for decades.

In this interview, Hogan Lovells partner Michael Thomas discusses how blockchain could disrupt capital market infrastructure and cause substantial changes in regulations, processes, and perspectives.


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