Slides from Consensus Workshop: Regulating the Blockchain
There was a jam-packed morning of Bitcoin and Blockchain legal discourse at Day 3 of this years Consensus conference. Coin Center was grateful for the opportunity to program this workshop.
There was a jam-packed morning of Bitcoin and Blockchain legal discourse at Day 3 of this years Consensus conference. Coin Center was grateful for the opportunity to program this workshop. We selected some of the top lawyers in this space and asked each to present on a topic of their choice. The result was a first-rate, detailed discussion of real, present-day legal issues facing cryptocurrency innovators. By popular demand, I’m now pleased to post the slides from that session. We led off with my presentation on defining what “control” or “custody” of bitcoins should mean for the purposes of intermediary licensing and regulation: A direct download of my presentation is available here. You’ll see at the end of the slides above there is legal language found in the Bank Secrecy Act that deals with unlicensed money transmission. Brian Klein of Baker Marquart gave an excellent rundown of this law, and why it is probably the most significant criminal statute for digital currency innovators. If you missed the workshop, please read Brian’s excellent Coin Center backgrounder on 18 U.S.C. § 1960. After that, Eli Alper of WilmerHale gave a presentation entitled, FinCEN and Virtual Currency: Always Money Transmission. Eli’s presentation is a fascinating reexamination of FinCEN’s 2013 virtual currency guidance, and the agency’s choice to treat many various bitcoin activities as money transmission. The presentation is based on his and Katrina Carroll’s comprehensive article, Ensuring a Level Playing Field for Federal Virtual Currency Regulation. A direct download of Eli's presentation is available here. Next up was Dana Syracuse of BuckleySandler and formerly the New York Department of Financial Services. Dana shared his experience from the BitLicense drafting process, and discussed the differing regulatory challenges facing consumer and enterprise digital currency businesses. After Dana, Patrick Murck of Pillsbury and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society gave a presentation on the possible mechanics of bitcoin property law. Coin ownership is not a straightforward as you might think (there aren’t really any bitcoins!) and Patrick is an expert at dispelling too-convenient myths and too-simple technological metaphors. A direct download of Patrick’s presentation is available here. And he has previously spoken on the subject with our own Jerry Brito at Harvard. Finally, Reuben Grinberg and Byron Rooney of Davis Polk helped us investigate legal issues related to moving securities transactions onto blockchain-based networks. A direct download of Reuben and Byron's presentation is available here.