Tag Archives: Blockchain

Best Practices for Limiting Liability Arising from Smart Contract Vulnerabilities

It is no secret that smart contracts have vulnerabilities.  Today’s post suggests a mix of best practices to limit potential liabilities that may arise when vulnerabilities interfere with smart contract performance. But first, some background:  One recent survey of 19,366 Ethereum-based contracts found vulnerabilities in 45% of them.  Perhaps the most publicized example of a … Continue Reading

Tips for Drafting Arbitration Clauses in Smart Contracts

We have suggested previously that arbitration may be a preferable alternative to court for smart contract disputes to (i) ensure a knowledgeable decision-maker handles the dispute, (ii) protect proprietary information, (iii) gain flexibility in scheduling and procedures, and (iv) pre-select the right forum.  Of course, arbitration doesn’t happen on its own – it typically requires … Continue Reading

Tax Coalition Forms to Address Digital Asset Uncertainty

The Chamber of Digital Commerce and Steptoe & Johnson LLP today announce the formation of the Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition, a Washington, DC-based coalition created to help develop effective and efficient tax policies for the growing virtual currency markets.  The move comes in response to a lack of recent guidance from the Internal Revenue … Continue Reading

Four Reasons to Put an Arbitration Clause in Your Company’s Smart Contracts

Many in the blockchain industry expect smart contracts to enjoy significant (perhaps exponential) growth in real-world applications beginning this year.  This was the general consensus at the industry’s first ever Smart Contract Symposium in New York City this past December.  More than 250 leaders in blockchain, finance, law, and other industries gathered at the Microsoft … Continue Reading

Steptoe joins the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)

The Bitfury Group, the leading global full-service Blockchain technology company, in conjunction with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, issued a press release today that Steptoe will serve as the legal services partner of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). Jason Weinstein was also listed as one of the 32 founding members of the GBBC, which was launched around … Continue Reading

Alan Cohn on Blockchain in 2017

CoinDesk quoted Alan Cohn in a December 30 article titled “A Slow Awakening: 2016 in US Blockchain Policy.” In the article, which discusses blockchain regulatory developments of the past year and what may lie ahead in 2017, Alan Cohn says: “If 2016 was the year that the blockchain burst into public view, 2017 is the year that … Continue Reading

Insurance with Assurance

In the last installment of our five-part blockchain series, we focus on the insurance industry.  Insurance and reinsurance companies are actively exploring and developing applications for blockchain technology.  And for good reason – distributed ledger technology has the potential to revolutionize the way insurance companies operate and engage with their policyholders and to open a … Continue Reading

Taking off on the Blockchain

In this fourth installment of our five-part series highlighting the legal issues presented by blockchain, we’ll consider application to the aviation industry. Blockchain has the potential to increase airlines’ profitability by lowering transaction costs as well as improving efficiency and transparency, while simultaneously enhancing customer experiences. As we discussed in the post “Taking Control of … Continue Reading

Can the Blockchain Block IP Theft?

Imagine a world where you could easily register and claim ownership over your original creative works – from music to photos to blogs. Gone would be the days of seeing your work duplicated all over the internet without proper credit and having no way to prove ownership. With the use of blockchain technology, that world … Continue Reading

Taking Control of Your Identity

One of the most intriguing uses of the blockchain may be the enhancement of identity solutions. As we know, the blockchain offers enhancements over current mechanisms for creating and storing digital identities, such as security and resilience built in by design, a greater ability to control the uses of encrypted information, and the ability to … Continue Reading

This is Your Blockchain on Drugs…

This week, we will have a five-part series highlighting the legal issues presented by blockchain applications in a number of different industries. Today, we’re looking into the legal considerations of implementing the blockchain in the pharmaceutical industry.  Among other benefits, distributed ledger technology can help reduce sales of counterfeit drugs and improve supply chain management, … Continue Reading

Is a Tamper-Proof Election Possible with the Blockchain?

The election cycle has reached its predictable fever pitch, and one issue receiving particular attention this year is the vulnerability of electronic voting systems to tampering, either intentionally (think hacking or voter fraud) or unintentionally (think hanging chads or lost ballots). Although it is unlikely that a consensus solution will be implemented in the near … Continue Reading

Appearance on Unchained

Alan Cohn and I talk with Laura Shin on her Unchained podcast about the Blockchain Alliance. We also talk about how crime involving Bitcoin is similar to crime involving any new technology, what genuinely new questions are being raised, and how various law enforcement agencies might think about recent developments like the emergence of the DAO … Continue Reading