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Blockchain & The Law Roundup: 21 November 2017

A busy start to the week, this week, in the world of law & blockchain. The Russians (officially) don’t like Bitcoin: “Bitcoins are a foreign application of Blockchain technology, and Russian law will never consider them as a legal entity under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation”. Meanwhile over at Ethereum they are learning to cope with EU privacy legislation and a Forbes article says blockchain lawyers with any modicum of knowledge about the subject are currently in great demand.


Title:  Russian Minister: We Will ‘Never’ Consider Bitcoin Legal

Author: Coin Telegraph

Date: 20 November 2017


Extract: The head of Russia’s Ministry of Communications (Minkomsvyaz) has said the country will “never” legalize Bitcoin within its economy.

Speaking to journalists on the fringes of the Duma’s first Russian National Youth Forum, Nikolay Nikiforov said that while Bitcoin was to remain outside legality, adoption of Blockchain technology was “entirely possible.”

“Bitcoins are a foreign application of Blockchain technology, and Russian law will never consider them as a legal entity under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation,” he declared quoted by Interfax.

The comments add further opaqueness to the already confusing stance of Russian lawmakers to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. A host of senior figures have given conflicting views as to how Russia will treat the emerging financial phenomenon, with some saying an outright ban is inevitable.

Last week, popular social content sharing network Golos was blocked by regulator Roskomnadzor for seven days over alleged data privacy breaches, which developers are attempting to challenge in court.


Title: Press Release:  Decentral Inc. Appoints Addison Cameron-Huff as President

Author: Marketwired

Date: 21 November 2017


Extract:  TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – November 21, 2017) – Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of Decentral announced the promotion of Addison Cameron-Huff to President of Decentral Inc.

Decentral, makers of the popular Jaxx cryptocurrency wallet, is Canada’s largest blockchain startup. Mr. Cameron-Huff is a leading Canadian lawyer, award winning technologist and entrepreneur deeply experienced with blockchain technologies. Anthony said, “Addison’s knowledge of blockchain technologies and the global regulatory landscape surrounding decentralization is second to none. His legal, technical and entrepreneurial guidance was critical in creating the solid foundation of Decentral Inc. and my other blockchain ventures including Ethereum. I am pleased Addison Cameron-Huff has joined me on the Decentral Inc. executive team.”

Addison has a deep technology and development background that began long before he became a lawyer. Addison has won multiple hackathons including both TechCrunch Disrupt and PayPal X Innovate. Addison was the founding CTO of, the largest global law search engine powered by machine translation. As a legal entrepreneur Addison built a technology law practice from 2013 to advise and support rapidly growing businesses in the internet and blockchain domains. He is also an Adjunct Professor of University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law GPLLM course.


Title:  Emerging Industries In Legal Recruitment

Author: Forbes

Date:  20 November 2017


Extract: “Since the candidate pool is small, firms are interviewing more candidates who they may not otherwise have looked at, such as someone from a lower tier school, a smaller firm, or even someone whose current practice covers only 20% of what they are looking for. I give all my candidates interested in blockchain the same advice. First, be flexible. Blockchain technology is evolving rapidly leaving everyone to guess the dominant legal issues in years to come. Second, do whatever you can to elbow your way into any deal concerning this technology, no matter how small the role — even the smallest experience can differentiate your resume from the others.”


Title:  When the right to be forgotten becomes possible on the Ethereum blockchain

Author: News BTC

Date: 18 November 2017


Extract: Lexing Alain Bensoussan, a specialist in data law and new technologies, has produced a Legal Opinion on the BCDiploma solution. This is one of the first time that compliance of an Ethereum solution with GDPR and the right to be forgotten is considered. BCDiploma paves the way for the storage of personal data on the blockchain and facilitates the legal compatibility between blockchain and GDPR regulation.


Title: UC Berkeley Law Tackles Blockchain with New Interdisciplinary Course A new interdisciplinary course at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law will tackle the legal and technological questions behind blockchain.

Author: Legal Tech News

Date:  17 November 2017


Extract: University of California, Berkeley School of Law this spring will offer an interdisciplinary course, “Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law,” that will explore some of the potential uses and concerns around blockchain technology. The course will take on 20 students each from the law school, business school and undergraduate engineering department, and will culminate in a project where teams of six students drawn from each field collaborate on different potential blockchain applications.

The course is the brainchild of Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy executive director Adam Sterling and business professor Gregory LeBlanc.


Title: Press Release: Oppenheim Law Announces Launch of New WebsiteSouth Florida law firm, Oppenheim Law announces the launch of their new, comprehensive, mobile-friendly website.

Author: Cision

Date: 21 November 2017


Extract:  It also highlights the firm’s practice of corporate law, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency law, as well as its outsourced in-house counsel, and international civil law notary services.


Title: New study highlights major country differences in the regulation of bitcoin, blockchain and initial coin offerings


Date: 16 November 2017


Extract:  The study, carried out by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, found that financial regulators differ over how best to address risks in the use of digital currencies, particularly bitcoin, and ICO investments.

According to the report, ‘Bitcoin, blockchain and initial coin offerings: a global review’, countries, such as Japan are looking to require cryptocurrency exchanges and remittance operators to be licensed and subject to annual audits, while other countries, like Russia, have announced their interest in issuing their own national cryptocurrency – the ‘cryptoruble’ – which will be issued, controlled and taxed by the state.

With regard to ICOs, while some prominent economies such as China and South Korea have moved to ban them, other countries have positively embraced what has become the hottest way for businesses to raise funds, the report said.


Title:  How Cryptocurrency Can Save Inventors Thousands of Dollars in Patent Lawyer Fees


Date: 20 November 2017


Extract: Enter Loci, a patent research company that gives its users a “DIY” approach to the patent process. Loci simplifies the searching process and works with attorneys and blockchain technology to help entrepreneurs develop their next creation easily and affordably. They will be having a token sale in December, in which participants can purchase their tokens for a reduced rate.


Title: Cayman Islands Trademarks for Blockchain Start-Ups

Author: Lexology / Loeb Smith

Date: 20 November 2017


Extract:  In the previous issues of our series of legal insights on owning intellectual property (IP) through a Cayman Islands corporate structure, we presented a brief overview of the new trademark registra-tion process which became effective in the Cayman Islands as at 1st August 2017 (see The New Cayman Islands Trademarks Regime).

In the meantime, blockchain technologies and ICOs have gained increasing popularity all over the world and in the Cayman Islands as well (see our FinTech series including Top Ten Risks for the Crypto-Currency Investor: A View from the Cayman Islands and Cayman Islands Legal Per-spective on the Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)).

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