By Professor Tonya M. Evans
Welcome to this week’s CryptoSmartEsq News, my carefully curated list of current legal issues and events in blockchain and crypto.
If you’re new to this exciting, fast-developing space, check out the introductory video in the first CryptoSmartEsq news post. Follow me on Twitter at @CryptoSmartEsq (my blockchain and crypto-focused feed) and @IPProfEvans (my intellectual property-focused feed) and #EvansontheBlock for daily legal bits & bytes. Affiliate links noted with $.
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Facebook is “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar. It’s not the first time the idea of a Facebook coin has been floated, but the plans take on some greater meaning in light of Facebook’s recently reshuffled executive structure and newly formed blockchain group. [CNBC.com: read more …]
Winklevoss IP, the company owned by Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has been awarded with a patent claim that aims to settle exchange traded products (ETPs) holding cryptocurrencies.
The company outlined a system that can execute transactions for ETPs holding cryptocurrencies “such as bitcoins … ripple, dogecoins … ether” as well as BBQCoin, among others, according to patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. The company first filed the application in December of last year.
ODEM, creator of the world’s first On-Demand Education Marketplace, has filed a provisional U.S. patent application on two critical components of its blockchain-based education platform.
ODEM and Dr. Adel ElMessiry, the company’s chief technology mentor, are asserting their ownership rights to the platform’s system of staking, or registering for, academic programs as well as unique design aspects of the ODEM Platform’s digital token model.
Law & Government
Bermuda is one of several small territories and microstates striving to leverage their nimble governments to attract blockchain and crypto businesses by creating regulatory certainty where other, larger governments have failed to deliver thus far. Liechtenstein, Malta, Gibraltar and, most recently, San Marino have joined the race alongside Bermuda, all offering proposals – and in some cases formal legislation – that promise “comprehensive blockchain legislation.”
The government of Australia has allocated AUD $700,000 (approx. $520,000) from its federal budget to its Digital Transformation Agency to research blockchain applications in government services.
Announced as a part of its 2018-19 federal budget, the government will use the funds from the Agency’s existing resources over the next four years.
An excerpt from the Budget document reads:
The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services.
Papua New Guinea, a small nation in the Pacific island region of Asia, is the newest country to offer economic freedoms and government support for blockchain companies looking to conduct token offerings. It will join Singapore, Malta, Switzerland, The Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein, and other smaller countries as one of the premier crypto-friendly countries in the world.
The bill would have exempted certain digital currencies from being regulated as securities under the Colorado Securities Act.
Colorado’s blockchain bill, House Bill 1426, would have also been a boon for innovation in the state was making its way through the State Assembly but got derailed abruptly on Wednesday in a vote.
HB 1426 was all but on its way to the governor’s desk after seemingly passing both the House and Senate votes. But the approval of the bill by the Senate was overturned when in a final vote a couple of state senators had a change of heart. The final tally in the third reading of the bill was 17 yea votes and 18 nay votes.
List of 2018 Events (CoinDesk.com)
Working Groups, Committees, & Orgs