Last week I explored this question with Verge podcaster Nilay Patel on his popular show DeCoder. Nilay explained:
A lot of Web3 ideas seem to run directly into the existing legal system in complicated and sometimes very funny ways. The NFT world seems to have an impressionistic understanding of copyright law. DAOs, well, they aren’t actually recognized as legal entities in most states. So in a very technical sense, they can’t actually do anything in the real world. But all these things still exist, and at some point, the law will have to catch up.
So, today, I’m talking to Tonya Evans, a law professor at Penn State Dickinson Law. She teaches IP law, copyright, and blockchain. She also hosts the Tech Intersect podcast, where she covers how law and technology intersect. She has spent a lot of time thinking about crypto assets and how they interact with the law. Tonya’s point of view is that we shouldn’t just abandon many of the legal frameworks we have today — she just wants them to adapt to this new internet.
Professor Tonya M. Evans leads charge to empower marginalized communities in the future of work and wealth
Penn State Dickinson Law professor and founder of the online education company Advantage Evans Academy, Tonya M. Evans, Esquire, has been named to Forbes’ 50 Over 50: Investment list, launched by Forbes in June 2021 and produced in partnership with Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value initiative. It is the final chapter of the 50 Over 50 lists (which include Impact and Vision).
The list features fifty women who are shaping the future of finance, fueling high-growth businesses, and forging a more innovative and inclusive financial future. Other notable women named to the list include Xtreme Solutions and Athena Acquisition CEO Phyllis Newhouse, Shark Tank executive producer and shark Barbara Corcoran, co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson, founder and CEO of Avanti Financial Group Caitlin Long, and ice Chairman of Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Carla Harris.
In 2020, at age 50, Evans became a tenured full professor at Pennsylvania State Dickinson Law School. Evans focuses on technology law, entertainment law and social justice issues. Evans also owns the coaching and webinar company Advantage Evans Academy, which she founded in 2020, hosts the Tech Intersect podcast also launched in 2020, a popular weekly edutainment-style podcast that explores the future of work, wealth and creativity.
“I empower underestimated life-long learners traditionally locked out of tech and finance to take control of their financial futures and participate in the new digital cash economy safely, legally and confidently in a welcoming space so they can stay ahead of the curve and create autonomy, opportunity and generational wealth in the fast-paced, tech-driven world.” Prof. Tonya M. Evans
Evans previously served as associate dean and tenured full professor at University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, where she created and directed the Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Law online certificate program, as first of its kind. That program included guest lectures from leaders in the industry, including SEC chair, Hester Peirce, former US Mint Chair Ed Moy, and Bermudian Premier E. David Burt.
Tonya M. Evans is a global leader, accomplished academic and administrator, and world-renowned speaker with over twenty years of experience in law, innovation, academia, and entrepreneurship. Prof. Evans was named to the Fastcase 50 of 2021, an annual award that recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous, innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law. She also received the inaugural Blockchain Enterprise Award in 2018 in the category of Governance and Policy Leadership during the 2019 Blockchain Revolution Global Conference in Toronto. She has presented on some of the world’s biggest and most prominent stages around the globe, including The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Blockchain Central during the United Nations General Assembly, IBM, SxSW and SxSW Edu, Microsoft Tech Summit, Lesbians Who Tech, HUE Tech Summit and North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Fintech and Cybersecurity Symposium.
Professor Evans has contributed to the development of policy and law before state and federal governments, including testifying before the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee and presenting to the United States Senate Innovation Caucus. Prof. Evans is a regular contributor to TV and print media, including Bloomberg Markets, Cheddar TV, CNBC, FoxSOUL, Sportico, Unchained Podcast with Laura Shin, The Decrypt Podcast, The LA Times, Protocol, and Sports Illustrated.
She is a graduate of Northwestern University (Dean’s List) and Howard University School of Law (cum laude). She also served as the Howard Law Journal editor-in-chief and is licensed to practice law in PA, NJ, NY and DC.
Fun Fact: Professor Evans competed on the women’s professional tennis tour from 1991-1995, competing in most notably in the qualifying rounds of the US Open in 1993. She is also a published performance poet.
On Mon, July 19 at 10 AM ET, Representative Ryan Bizzarro and Representative Napoleon Nelson hosted a virtual hearing on Blockchain + Cryptocurrency: Preparing PA for a Digital Future before the PA Democratic Policy Committee. I was very honored to testify along with other leaders in blockchain and cryptocurrency law, policy and ethics.