A survey report published by the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, about 10 percent of global GDP will be stored using blockchain. As more and more transactions are conducted and assets are accumulated on blockchains or other distributed ledger technologies, the potential to revolutionize how we conduct business across nearly all sectors arises, as do questions about the legal implications, including risk management and privacy and regulatory concerns.
Blockchain technology currently is most widely used as the backbone for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but many new applications are evolving that will present exciting opportunities and unique challenges for organizations in a broad range of industries, including financial services, insurance, healthcare, professional services, manufacturing and energy, to name just a few.
We offer a multidisciplinary team of lawyers who understand blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies and their benefits and consequences for businesses. They can provide insight and guidance to companies beginning or expanding their use of these technologies or looking to develop new applications.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoins, are virtual, digital money that have no government or central bank backing. Since their first appearance around 2009, they have gained broader acceptance and seen expanded use. Today, mainstream businesses have begun to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for goods and services, and many who are not currently accepting cryptocurrency are considering the possibility. Active exchange markets have been established to trade Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies against traditional currencies.
The use of cryptocurrencies involves complex legal issues of regulatory compliance, valuation and management protocols and controls, among other considerations. Businesses considering entering into the cryptocurrency space will need sophisticated and knowledgeable legal counsel to provide the guidance necessary to navigate this cutting-edge technology. Similarly, banks, broker-dealers, investment funds and other financial institutions will need legal counsel who know how to manage risk and ensure compliance with rapidly changing cryptocurrency technology and regulations.
Responsive and knowledgeable about the complex constellation of legal questions involved in dealing with cryptocurrencies, Thompson Hine has moved to the forefront of law firms counseling clients in the evolving Bitcoin and cryptocurrency environment.
Our experience in representing public and private businesses, including financial institutions, banks, broker-dealers, investment funds and retail businesses in connection with all aspects of their business, operations and financial affairs, including counseling clients on regulatory compliance and risk management, puts us in a unique position to advise them on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
An illustrative sampling of our experience includes:
- Advising private funds, investment advisers and commodity pool operators in the crypto space.
- Counseling advisers seeking to invest in cryptocurrencies on behalf of their clients.
- Providing guidance on the formation of appropriate pooled investment vehicles.
- Facilitating proprietary token/coin sales and registered and unregistered digital rights offerings.
- Counseling on the development of new digital currencies and regulatory concerns.
- Advising on mining activities and related software development.
- Advising on cybersecurity and privacy issues.
- Providing guidance on the protection of intellectual property.
- Advising on general corporate matters, including private company formation and structure and operational advice.
- Providing strategic counseling to both mature and early stage technology ventures, and established businesses adopting electronic and technologically advanced means of competition.
- Defending parties in numerous proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, New York Stock Exchange, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Commerce, congressional committees and states’ attorney general, among others.
Privacy & Technology
- Assisting clients in developing, implementing, managing, and monitoring enterprise-wide, global privacy and data security policies, programs and protocols.
- Advising on the trans-border transfer of sensitive personal data, including data transfers from and to European Union operations in connection with mergers and acquisitions, human resource operations, IT systems and other contexts.
- Assisting global companies with certification under the Department of Commerce Safe Harbor program.
- Representing companies in litigation growing out of data security incidents and cybercrimes.
- Counseling companies on maintaining and operating legal compliance programs, including confidential whistleblower mechanisms, in the face of conflicting global privacy laws.
- Litigating federal and state privacy and internet matters.
- Counseling on records retention and data destruction plans.
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The Growing Commercial Applications of Blockchain Technology - Thompson Hine Article
July 27, 2017