Tag: Blockchain

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K&L Gates Links with Global Legal Blockchain Consortium
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Blockchain and Data Protection: Trustless Should Not Mean Distrusted
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Court of the Blockchain Announced
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Conference Report – Blockchain and the Law: Towards a Responsible Blockchain Sector
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Amazon Unveils Plans to Provide Blockchain-as-a-Service
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Understanding the Effect of Wyoming’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Legislation
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ASIC updates its guidance on treatment of ICO’s
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ASX releases consultation paper on its proposed blockchain-based replacement to CHESS
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IOT Group to set up blockchain centre in the Australian energy sphere
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Australia’s New AML Rules: Reducing the Anonymity of Digital Currencies

K&L Gates Links with Global Legal Blockchain Consortium

Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has joined the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), an organization of legal and technology industry stakeholders focused on increasing the security, productivity, and interoperability of blockchain technology.

To date, more than 120 large companies, law firms, software companies, and law schools have joined the GLBC to help in developing standards and policies that govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law. Specific issues on which the consortium focuses include data integrity, authenticity, security, and privacy for contracts and documents; interoperability between corporate legal departments and law firms; productivity improvements in the operation of legal departments and law firms; and augmentation of existing legal technology systems.

Judith Rinearson, a partner in K&L Gates’ New York and London offices and one of the co-chairs of the firm’s FinTech practice leading K&L Gates’ involvement with GLBC, said: “We have been very strategic in how we have approached the enormous opportunities presented by the blockchain. Our membership in GLBC is a great fit in our overall strategy to harness the capabilities of the blockchain in order to benefit our clients.”

Last year, K&L Gates announced plans to implement its own private blockchain to assist in the exploration, creation, and implementation of smart contracts and other technology applications for future client use, a commitment that very few, if any, other major law firms have made.

Lawyers in the firm’s FinTech practice are part of a cross-disciplinary, global team focused on helping clients navigate regulatory, policy, and business issues surrounding the FinTech space, such as consumer financial services regulation, e-commerce regulation, fund formation, cybersecurity, finance, and intellectual property matters.

For more information please contact Becca Hatton at +1.202.778.9897 or becca.hatton@klgates.com.

Blockchain and Data Protection: Trustless Should Not Mean Distrusted

By Claude-Étienne Armingaud

Amidst the international tidal wave caused by the entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) in May 2018, many half, or even false truths have been spread about hindrance on a global scale of innovative technologies. However, we must keep in mind that Europe has adopted a long-standing position of technology-neutral regulations and data protection is no exception.

Indeed, from a GDPR perspective, no technology would be prohibited or regulated by nature – only its application to a specific purpose may be regulated, inasmuch as it involves personal data -whether relating to the participants and miners or the payload data itself- and falls within its broad geographical scope (see our previous Alert for more details).

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Court of the Blockchain Announced

By Jonathan Lawrence

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFCCourts have partnered with Smart Dubai to create what they say is the world’s first “Court of the Blockchain”. According to an announcement on 30 July, they will initially explore how to aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement. They say they plan to create a blockchain-based court designed to streamline the judicial process, remove document duplications, and drive efficiencies. Future research announced will investigate handling disputes arising out of private and public blockchains and out of regulation and contractual terms encoded within smart contracts.

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Conference Report – Blockchain and the Law: Towards a Responsible Blockchain Sector

By Anthony R. G. Nolan and Julien E. F. Barbey

On June 14, Cardozo Law School in New York City held a conference entitled “Blockchain and the Law: Towards a Responsible Blockchain Sector.”  The conference was led by a panel consisting of current and former commissioners and staff members of the SEC and the CFTC including Rob Cohen, director of the SEC’s enforcement division.

Among topics discussed was SEC Director William Hinman’s recent speech in which he stated that Ethereum is not a security.  Panelists suggested this may indicate that the SEC would regard a token as being able to change its character over time, such that a token that was once a security can morph into one that is not a security.   This would have important implications for market practices, potentially including the utility of SAFTs.

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Amazon Unveils Plans to Provide Blockchain-as-a-Service

By Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Georgia Mills

Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to be one of a handful of tech companies providing blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) for customers wanting to test the new technology without the costs or risks of developing it in house.  Other providers of BaaS include Microsoft, IBM, HP, Oracle and SAP.

AWS has partnered with Kaleido, a new blockchain business cloud service for enterprises.  Kaleido will offer its cloud services to host an Enterprise Ethereum-based, open-source blockchain platform, making Kaleido the first managed blockchain SaaS available on AWS.  The platform has been designed to be easy to use, as the uncertainty surrounding the new technology has prevented its widespread adoption.

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Understanding the Effect of Wyoming’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Legislation

By Carl E. VolzEden L. RohrerJudith E. RinearsonJeremy M. McLaughlin and Daniel S. Cohen

March was a busy month in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for the Wyoming state government.  The legislature passed, and the governor signed, five bills that many in the industry view as favorable to blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses.  While the bills provide some beneficial clarity in this space and may attract businesses to the state, the scope and effect of some of the bills is limited.  Accordingly, it is important that industry participants fully understand what the new Wyoming laws address, and, perhaps more importantly, what they do not.

Please see our latest thinking here for a full discussion of Wyoming’s new blockchain and cryptocurrency legislation.

ASIC updates its guidance on treatment of ICO’s

By Jim Bulling and Felix Charlesworth

On 1 May 2018, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released its revised Information Sheet 225 which provides an updated guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs). The updated report expands its scope to include guidance dealing with other crypto-currency and digital token (Crypto-Asset) businesses.

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ASX releases consultation paper on its proposed blockchain-based replacement to CHESS

By Jim Bulling and Felix Charlesworth

On 27 April 2018, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released a consultation paper seeking industry feedback on its proposed implementation and development of a blockchain-based system to perform clearing, settlement and other post trade services in the Australian equity market. As previously mentioned, it is intended that this new platform will replace the existing Clearing House Electronic Sub-Register System (CHESS) which has been used by the ASX since 1995.

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IOT Group to set up blockchain centre in the Australian energy sphere

By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan

Technology company IOT Group announced this week that it has signed an Australian first energy and blockchain deal. In the agreement with Hunter Energy, IOT Blockchain will build a blockchain centre at the Redbank coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney.

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Australia’s New AML Rules: Reducing the Anonymity of Digital Currencies

By Jim Bulling and Edwin Tan

The Australian Government has recently decided to regulate Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) providers, as they have inherent money-laundering and terrorism financing risks stemming from their high degree of anonymity and ease of cross-border transactions.  As part of this regulation, DCE providers must provide regular reports to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).  These reports must include, if known, the social media identifiers, unique device identifiers and digital wallet addresses of the relevant customer.

Many digital currencies operate on public blockchains that contain records of all transactions ever made, which is essential to their transaction validation and anti-tampering features.  This public nature enables every client on the blockchain network to verify that any currency used in relation to a transaction actually exists, by looking through the transaction history of a particular digital wallet address.  As such, being able to link digital wallet addresses to particular individuals will, over time, give AUSTRAC the power to trace suspicious transactions up the chain back to an individual.  It may also be possible for the Australian Taxation Office to use this information in the future to ensure that individuals correctly report any capital gains resulting from the trading of digital currency for taxation purposes.

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