Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies & ICOs
- Who To Contact
- Representative Matters
- Recent Developments
Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the way that business is done. Entire supply chains can interact with – and be recorded on – blockchains, resulting in increased transparency, better “just in time” delivery, reduced fraud, “self-auditing” recording of facts and data, and simplified (and faster) payment methods. In the financial services industry, blockchains can dramatically reduce transaction costs and processing times. Securities can be tokenized and registered on blockchains, as now permitted in Delaware, allowing for increased liquidity, quicker settlement, more effective stockholder democracy and reduced transaction fees.
While Bitcoin may be the best known cryptocurrency, there are over 1,400 cryptocurrencies available for purchase and trade. Ethereum’s blockchain technology allows users to create “smart contracts” that can allow parties to complete certain kinds of transactions without the need for a third party intermediary. Ripple is being used by hundreds of financial institutions as they attempt to transform how individuals and businesses transfer money within a given country and across borders. Other cryptocurrencies have been developed to address privacy and anonymity concerns.
In 2017, over US$3.7 billion dollars was raised through initial coin offerings (ICOs), as blockchain enthusiasts, investors, and speculators purchased tokens from issuers. Some coins have dramatically increased in value, while others have plummeted in value as speculation proved misguided. Regulators have struggled to understand and regulate the new world of ICOs, and the result is a patchwork of regulatory approaches taken by governments around the world, with some governments regarding tokens as securities, others as currencies, others as just another asset class, and yet others as commodities. As for “smart contracts,” these are essentially not regulated (except as contracts) and must be regarded as being in the very earliest stages of use.
Why Aird & Berlis?
Aird & Berlis’ knowledgeable and experienced legal team helps clients navigate this challenging and exciting space. Our lawyers can assist with a broad range of legal and business issues relating to blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Our Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies & ICOs Group combines leading lawyers from technology, securities, privacy, banking, intellectual property and commercial practices. Some recent highlights include advising on a private placement for an integrated renewable energy producer and cryptocurrency miner, document design for blockchain implementation, and patent prosecution for cryptocurrency.
Our lawyers are thought leaders in this space and are regularly called upon to speak at conferences and seminars around the world. We frequently write articles on this topic for industry publications and The Spotlight.
How We Can Help
We can assist clients with respect to:
- Developing and implementing blockchain business solutions
- Launching ICOs and ITOs (initial token offerings)
- Creation of smart contracts
- Securities law compliance
- Tokenization of securities and capital markets transactions
- Formation and structuring of investment funds
- Internet of Things
- Establishment of cryptocurrency exchanges
- Know your client (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance
- Privacy and data security
- Supply chain logistics
- Intellectual property solutions
- Services agreements pertaining to any of the above
Spectra7 Microsystems Inc. , a leading provider of high-performance analog semiconductor products for broadband connectivity markets, recently completed a $15.3 million bought deal public offering of ...
Blockchain Power Trust Closes $43 Million Brokered Private Placement and Acquisition of 45MW Wind Power ProjectOn January 8, 2018, Blockchain Power completed a brokered private placement of 90,047,832 units at a price of $0.48 per unit for gross proceeds of approximately $43 million (the “Offering”). Each unit...
EventACCESS ARCHIVE Encrypted digital currencies - or cryptocurrencies - have risen in popularity as the world of international commerce moves faster t...
PublicationArticle2021 has seen NFTs, or “Non-Fungible Tokens,” become the centre of attention in the worlds of sport, investing and blockchain. A catalyst for this rise in popularity is NBA Top Shot, a new form of lic...
News itemFirm NewsTaxation of Crypto Assets is a premier resource for tax lawyers, tax practitioners, government officials, advisors, investors, issuers, users of crypto assets and taxation academics who are seeking in...
EventJoin Aird & Berlis legal experts, Stephen Zolf and Don Johnston, along with the principal risk advisor at Informatica, Claudiu Popa, as they discuss the intersection of net neutrality, malware and mal...
EventThe number of companies interested in using blockchain has exploded, and businesses are changing the way they run their day-to-day operations. There are, however, still a few common misconceptions re...
PublicationArticleEncrypted digital currencies (“cryptocurrencies”), particularly Bitcoin, have recently become the target of enormous international speculation and market scrutiny. Some expect cryptocurrency payments ...
TheSpotlightQuentin Tarantino—the legendary director behind Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood—is now in the midst of a legal dispute with Miramax over his planned sale of non-fungible to...
TheSpotlightOn June 19, Facebook announced plans to launch a new digital currency, Libra, which will allow users to make online payments via digital wallets as soon as early next year.
TheSpotlightThe cryptocurrency fad has started to enter the legal mainstream. Unusually, this has happened in the context of a mysterious death. In a case of a mistaken transfer of cryptocurrency tokens, the Bri...
TheSpotlightAs a patent practitioner, one of the questions I often get asked is whether distributed ledger technology (DLT), such as blockchain, is patentable. I naturally respond in the affirmative (with some q...
StartupSourceThe Toronto City Council is seeking the public’s input on how the City’s commercial sector can better engage with cryptocurrencies. On Feb. 2, 2018, the City voted to engage in deputations between the...
StartupSourceThe entry of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System into the cryptocurrency sector represents a new development in the fintech market as larger and more established investors begin to consi...
TheSpotlightOn August 1, the new Delaware Blockchain Initiative became law. Thanks to this initiative, the Delaware General Corporation Law now permits Delaware corporations to register their shares of stock, and...
TheSpotlightThe blockchain has recently become the new financial instrument of the future. Experts in major industries, such as the financial and legal communities, are continuously working on researching how the...
TheSpotlightI've been writing a lot lately on blockchains and how blockchain technology intersects with the law. It's interesting stuff. Now I want to write a bit about digital currencies, particularly since ther...
TheSpotlightA Little Review In my last blog about the blockchain, I talked a bit about what blockchain technology is and how it could be useful. Just as a reminder, a blockchain is a peer-to-peer managed, publicl...
TheSpotlightWhat the Heck is the Blockchain? No, it's not a chain that stretches around your block. It is a peer-to-peer managed, publicly readable and secure database, chunks of which are located in multiple pla...