Legal issues discussed range from liability, privacy, data security, contracts, consumer protection, financial regulation and tax. Other topics covered include regulating for disruption, ethereum, smart contracts, sandboxes, blockchain consortiums and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The course aims to equip attendees to be able to ask the right legal and regulatory questions and identify the relevant risks when dealing with these emerging technologies.
Requirements - No prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is required
Who is the target audience? - Anyone who wants to understand the legal implications, regulation and compliance requirements of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Module 1: How Does Regulation Keep Up with Technology and Innovation?
An introduction to the disruptive world we live in, with global examples of how difficult it has been across industries to regulate the fast pace of technology and innovation. The discussion will provide a general context on the impracticality involved when comparing the slow pace of regulation to the fast pace of technology, and how to overcome these impracticalities and the concept of exponential growth of emerging technologies, such as bitcoin and blockchain.
Module 2: Bitcoin This module covers various legal issues from is bitcoin money, to the legal nature of bitcoin and how it has been addressed in various jurisdictions (commodity, security etc).
The module will include possible applications, such as payment applications and related regulatory issues as well as the position of bitcoin exchanges. A high level discussion on the liability of, for example, the now defunct bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, will be discussed as well as insurance and consumer protection, security and privacy issues. A quick overview of bitcoins hard fork will also be included.
Module 3: Cryptocurrencies and Altcoins
This module will provide examples of altcoins and an overview of the different approaches taken by governments towards cryptocurrencies, as well as the legal nature and issues surrounding use of cryptocurrencies. Legal issues discussed range from liability, privacy, data security, contracts, consumer protection, financial regulation and tax. The module will include comparisons to bitcoin to provide context as well as jurisdictions who are embarking on government cryptocurrencies and other similar initiatives.
Module 4: Ethereum and Smart Contracts
This module will introduce Ethereum and the concept of smart contracts. The module will include the legal nature of various e-contract concepts with examples. An overview of global approaches to smart contracting, especially on issues like electronic contracts and automated performance will be provided. Issues such as liability and consumer protection will be discussed as well as highlighting potential risks.
Module 5: Blockchain Applications
This module will cover a variety of examples that blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) could potentially be used for. The discussion will include examples of the potential legal issues and risks. The module will also look at different jurisdictions' approach to innovations in this space, such as central banks setting up sandboxes in order to monitor development of these new technologies in order to understand them better and understand the regulatory framework. Various global consortiums and the projects they are involved in will also be discussed.
Module 6: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
This module will take a closer look at Initial Coin Offerings, how they work and why countries are banning them. What are the potential risks of participating in an ICO?
Module 7: Where to Next?
In conclusion, the instructor will explore questions that are still unanswered that cause uncertainty for those wanting to participate in this space. What is required from regulators to fill the grey areas and the gaps? And how do you innovate without potentially falling into the regulatory grey areas and potential risks?