If you haven’t heard about Libra yet, it’s about time. Facebook’s recently unveiled coin, which is held stable by backing it with other currencies and debt obligations, might cause significant changes in the financial system as we know it. The U.S. House of Representatives called for a halt of Libra’s development in an open letter to Facebook. Are U.S. regulators overreaching? Or is their approach warranted? Read it here.
I see many articles proclaiming the death of the Initial Coin Offering. Indeed, volumes of ICO funding have indeed gone down drastically. At the same time, many praise the Security Token Offering (STO) as the ‘next big thing’. The new hype, that will catch people off-guard. However, many misunderstand the differences…
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has confirmed that the SEC believes that if a token is ‘sufficiently decentralized’, it can no longer be seen as a security. This controversial ‘Hinman Test’ is subject to great debate. In this article, I explain how such a test might be approached. Emphasis is given to the influence of the issuer on the governance of a blockchain protocol.
The differences between traditional banking and blockchain banking are immense. The issuance and administration of stable coins impose substantial risks if not regulated properly. In this essay, the inherent risks posed by the uncoupling of formerly inseperable banking functions are explored and the argument is brought forward that the model of current stable coin regulations sounds the death of the ‘trustless’ promise of the blockchain dream.
In a speech in August, the SEC stated that Ethereum is no longer a security, due to its decentralization. I believe they are wrong. In this legal analysis, I explain why I believe that the blockchain-based cryptocurrency is still a security under US securities law and jurisprudence, such as the Howey-test.
This guest post is concerned with the question of the relationship between smart contracts and law and tries to develop a framework that emphasizes the legal character of smart contracts, without promoting the popular catch phrase ‘code is law’. Concepts of ‘legality’, ‘lawfulness’ and ‘jurisdiction’ are more complex than can be encapsulated by architectures or technologies that regulate or condition behaviour.
Software development based on collaborative enhancement of source code has existed informally since the 1980s (and even before). This collaboration could easily be considered the main driver of many online products and services we use every day. Although I have a broad understanding of open-source and in specific software licensing, I am…
Just 8 months ago, a blockchain project called Tezos raised $232 million with an initial coin offering. It was the biggest ICO ever. Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, the young couple that founded the project, literally raised over 10x more than their wildest estimates. 8 months later, the couple and the project is facing four class action lawsuits. How could it all go so wrong?
Thijs Maas Thijs Maas is a Dutch LLM student who developed a keen interest in the interplay between distributed ledger technologies and law. He started LawAndBlockchain.eu to help narrow the increasing gap between legal doctrine and regulatory challenges posed by blockchain-based asset classes.
In this article, I argue that the problems we see in crypto today are caused by moral hazards and the idea of a ‘regulatory wild west’, and that law is a possible solution. However, the manner in which regulation is implemented is crucial, as ICO regulation should not be (too much of) a burden to innovation.