Part 1 in a series exploring the nature, function and limits of trademark law in crypto, wrapped in terms of legitimacy.

If Google decided to basically clone Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake research and launch its own blockchain under the name ‘Casper’ (with a corresponding public sale of a token called $CSPR), would that be legal?

Beyond its immediately legality, would that maneuver be legitimate in the eyes of the global blockchain community? Would it be legitimate in the eyes of nonchainers who are, as we speak, researching hundreds of blockchain projects in search of their first friendly entry point into the space?

These twin questions of legality and legitimacy are currently being tested in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of…


TrashCash is a hypothetical name for a blockchain-based reward scheme that basically incentivizes people to do any combination of three related and extremely valuable tasks:

  1. report waste/hazards (such as broken glass bottles on a beach; motor oil dumped behind a gas station; etc)
  2. analyze/verify existing reports
  3. respond to the object/condition by cleaning it up or otherwise materially mitigating the risk posed by that object/condition

Here are the three steps, visually:


’Twas the night before halving, and on #CryptoTwitter

Not a creature was stirring, not even @pet3rpan_ peter

The buy orders were placed on exchanges with care,

In hopes the price rebound soon would be there;

The bitcoiners nestled all snug in their beds;

While visions of citadels danced in their heads;

While Ethereans on laptops, and I at my desk,

Were doing our usual to mitigate risk,

When out on the reddits arose such a clatter,

Even bitcoiners roused to see what’s the matter,

Away to the forums they flew like a flash,

Cancelled all of their orders & sold…


On Black Friday 2019, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York put out a press release announcing the arrest of a prominent Etherean — Virgil Griffith.

The Complaint raises only one charge — violation of International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 USC § 1705 (IEEPA). The Complaint is merely an accusation, and — by law — Griffith is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

What follows is an objective analysis of the Complaint, looking at the facts most favorably to Griffith. The analysis also draws on some public record information. …


Below is a brief response to Angela Walch’s Open-Source Operational Risk: Should Public Blockchains Serve as Financial Market Infrastructures?, in Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, and Inclusion, Vol. 2 (David Lee Kuo Chuen & Robert Deng, eds., Elsevier 2017).

  • FMI = Financial Market Infrastructure
  • AW = Angela Walch
  • CA = CleanApp

1. Intro/Summary

In her 2017 book chapter referenced above, Angela Walch analyzes blockchain governance by reference to standards set out in international Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (FMI).

Here is one of Walch’s core conclusions:


The common law tradition includes many legal systems modeled on the English system. These common law systems are basically ex- or present-day English colonies, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, India, parts of Canada, etc.


Below is a collection of some Crypto Law Review articles exploring questions of contract law. (In reverse chronological order — most recent above, latest below.)

  1. Contract Law Around the World (November 22, 2019) (4m) (summary of K formation elements & standards from several jurisdictions, and intro to Schlesinger’s functionalist comparative law methodology)
  2. Contract Formation Under US Law (November 22, 2019) (12m) (intro to mutual assent & objective theory of K formation, without coverage of consideration)
  3. How to Form a Contract Under English Law? (November 21, 2019) (7m) (intro to K formation basics under English/Welsh law by reference to UK Jurisdiction…

What are the rules of contract formation in different jurisdictions? What are important areas of convergence?

In the last few days, we published a few quick primers on English & American contract formation law.

In the process of doing that exercise, we put together a quick and easy (therefore, necessarily incomplete) chart on the rules of contract formation in other jurisdictions.

Here it is in case it might be useful to someone.


The rules of contract (“K”) formation in the US are relatively straightforward. Here’s a quick capsule summary.

1. What Law Governs?

There is no pan-American law of contract, as such.

In the US, contract law can be found in many different sources, including federal and state cases, federal and state statutes, and in many secondary sources. Special types of contracts may be governed by state-by-state enactments of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), such as state-enactments of UCC Article 2 (governing the sale of goods), 2A (governing the lease of goods), and so on.

So when we talk about US contract law, we’re talking about…


The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce just released a Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts. It is an important read because it tackles some of the most foundational issues in crypto law, such as:

  • Are crypto instruments (different types of tokens) property under English law?
  • Are so-called ‘smart contracts’ considered contracts under English law?

Wrt contract law, here’s the tldr:

Contract Under English Law

The Legal Statement gives us a great chance to review the rules of contract formation under English law, which is useful because English law is influential not only in England and Wales, but in many other common law jurisdictions…

CleanApp

Nonprofit incentivizing open-source trash/hazard reporting & remediation ++ cool law stuff ++ "The Wi-Fi & Bluetooth of TrashTech" - cleanapp.io.

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