Blockchain and the Law
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Wai Choy

Partner

Wai Choy has deep expertise in technology, media, outsourcing and intellectual property-related transactions and counseling and is a partner in Proskauer’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group, Life Sciences Group, Privacy & Cybersecurity Group and Blockchain Group. He serves as a trusted advisor to clients at various stages in their development and across industries, including technology, life sciences, financial services, entertainment, e-commerce, sports and advertising.

 

Wai helps clients navigate legal and business issues and leads the structuring, drafting and negotiation of a wide range of contracts, such as:

  • Service agreements for a variety of services, including software as a service (SaaS) and other hosted services, data analytics, digital marketing, software and website development, systems integration, technology implementation, payment processing and outsourcing;
  • In the biotech, pharma and medical device arena, agreements covering research and development collaborations, intellectual property licenses, manufacturing, supply and distribution services, sponsored research, grants, revenue sharing and other strategic partnerships among commercial entities, academic institutions and/or charitable organizations;
  • Collaboration agreements between strategic partners for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of new technology, products and services;
  • Software license agreements and other complex intellectual property license and assignment agreements;
  • Terms of use, privacy policies and end user license agreements for websites, mobile apps and other software;
  • Content production, license and distribution agreements covering various business models and distribution methods;
  • Revenue sharing, joint venture, reseller, supply, equipment purchasing, manufacturing and other types of general commercial agreements; and
  • Advertising-related agreements spanning digital, radio and billboard media, including programmatic advertising platform agreements, lead generation service agreements, advertising reseller and affiliate agreements, insertion orders and advertising terms and conditions.

In the context of mergers, acquisitions and financings, Wai:

  • Guides clients through technology, intellectual property, privacy and data security matters;
  • Leads teams in conducting legal due diligence; and
  • Drafts and negotiates key transaction documents, such as purchase, merger, transition services and intellectual property license agreements.

Wai also counsels clients and provides strategic advice regarding:

  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technology development, structuring and implementation, the establishment of U.S.-regulated digital asset trading platforms and hedge funds, token offerings and associated legal issues;
  • Privacy, cybersecurity, confidentiality, intellectual property, right of publicity and defamation laws and issues;
  • Use of open source code under various permissive and copyleft licensing schemes, including structuring combinations of open source code with proprietary code; and
  • Internet, digital marketing and media-applicable U.S. laws.

Wai serves as Co-Editor of Proskauer’s Blockchain and the Law blog and has been a guest lecturer on blockchain technology at Fordham University School of Law. Prior to joining Proskauer, Wai worked in the Business & Legal Affairs departments of Marvel Studios in Los Angeles and Marvel Entertainment in New York on a variety of licensing, film and television production, merchandising and publishing matters. At the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Wai served as Senior Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

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Proskauer’s Cross-Disciplinary Blockchain Group Hosts ‘Digital Assets in Business and Law’ Symposium

Back in 2013, the first cryptocurrency matter hit our desks. That was the beginning of the exponential growth of our digital assets practice. Recognizing the importance of the area, we launched this blog, Blockchain and the Law. In our first cluster of posts, we covered topics such as cryptocurrency taxation, blockchain and privacy, and issues … Continue Reading

The Other Side of The Coin: Cryptocurrency Assets in Bankruptcy

On July 5, 2022, cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager Digital filed for chapter 11 in the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court, citing a short-term “run on the bank” due to the “crypto winter” in the cryptocurrency industry generally and the default of a significant loan made to a third party as the reasons for its … Continue Reading

Three Questions Brands Must Ask about Trademarks and the Metaverse

Web 3.0 and the promise of the metaverse has generated excitement about new markets for businesses large and small. But as with any technological frontier, legal uncertainties cause new risks to emerge alongside the opportunities. One area currently full of legal questions is trademark law. We will examine what we see as three of the … Continue Reading

Roots of Confusion Over “v1” CryptoPunks NFTs Raise Key Copyright and Practical Considerations for NFT Minters, Acquirers and Platform Operators

Minters of collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken a wide range of approaches. In addition to variations in the means of distribution, token standards, governing smart contracts and platforms on which initial sales or transfers are made, the terms, conditions and content licenses (or lack thereof) under which users take possession of an NFT often … Continue Reading

Decentralized Finance: The Next Frontier of SEC Enforcement

The SEC’s push to regulate the next generation of blockchain-based applications will likely give rise to disputes and enforcement actions, particularly in the developing decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Although DeFi has the potential to enhance or replace traditional financial products by speeding execution and reducing transaction costs using blockchain technology, the SEC presumes that actors … Continue Reading

Traditional Supply Chain Challenges During COVID-19 Spur Innovation in Blockchain Applications

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were already exploring the promise of blockchain to modernize certain aspects of their supply chains.  Traditional supply chains can be inefficient, data intensive and costly, often characterized by burdensome paperwork, conflicting records and delays resulting from manual reconciliation processes involving a series of transactions and document exchanges … Continue Reading

Smart Contracts: Benefits, Legal Enforceability and Best Practices

The combination of smart contracts with blockchain technology has created new opportunities to conduct business, realize efficiencies and establish legally enforceable digital contracts. In this two-part video series, Proskauer’s Jeffrey Neuburger and Wai Choy share: Part 1 (Smart Contracts: Benefits & Legal Enforceability): An overview of smart contracts and their use cases, and the law … Continue Reading

Blockchain 51% Attacks – Lessons Learned for Developers and Trading Platform Operators

Once purely theoretical, “majority” or “51%” attacks on public blockchains have dealt participants a reality check: The fundamental assumption of Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin whitepaper (that computing power will remain sufficiently decentralized in blockchain networks that rely on a “proof-of-work” consensus mechanism) can in practice actually be exploited to enable double spending. “The system is … Continue Reading

Smart Contracts: Best Practices

Proskauer authored an in-depth Practice Note published by Practical Law, which details best practices for the use of smart contracts on blockchains. It discusses functional and legal considerations for both standalone smart contracts and smart contracts used in conjunction with traditional written contracts (hybrid smart contracts) and explores the extent to which smart contracts can independently be legally binding. The full text … Continue Reading

Cover Article: Practical Law – The Journal, June/July Issue | “Supply Chain Management – Implementing Blockchain Technology”

We are happy to report that our recent in-depth Practice Note on Blockchain as applied to Supply Chain Management was selected to appear as the cover story for the June/July issue of Practical Law – The Journal. Read the full text here.… Continue Reading

Dueling Bitcoin White Paper Copyright Registrations – What Does it Mean?

The plot has thickened in the longest-running “whodunit” in the blockchain space: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin and author of the white paper that started it all, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System? Published in 2008, Nakamoto’s paper proposed a form of electronic cash that would operate purely peer-to-peer, without the … Continue Reading

Practice Note: Blockchain and Supply Chain Management

Proskauer authored a Practice Note published by Practical Law, which provides an overview of the use of blockchain and smart contracts in the supply chain context, including the legal issues, concerns, benefits and risks associated with its use. It includes, among other topics, information on key distinctions between public and private blockchains and important considerations regarding the use of … Continue Reading

Ohio is the First US State to Allow Payment of Taxes Using Bitcoin

Today, Ohio reportedly becomes the first US state to allow taxes to be paid in the form of bitcoin. Although the program, which is spearheaded by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, will not be available to individual taxpayers until a later time, businesses operating in Ohio are now able to register on OhioCrypto.com to pay 23 … Continue Reading

Blockchain Digital Assets in Virtual Reality, Video Games and eSports – Ready Lawyer One?

Virtual worlds similar to the OASIS in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One may be closer than we think – and provably scarce, blockchain-based digital assets could provide the leap forward that gets us there. Already, developers are testing early implementations. Since CryptoKitties launched at the end of 2017, promptly causing a traffic jam … Continue Reading

Alleging Fraud, SEC Shuts Down AriseBank’s Celebrity-Endorsed ICO of Purported “Decentralized Bank”

In its latest effort to combat scams in the initial coin offering (ICO) space, the SEC announced today that it has obtained a court order cutting off AriseBank’s ICO of “AriseCoin” tokens, appointing a receiver over AriseBank and freezing AriseBank’s and its co-founders’ digital and other assets. The SEC’s complaint against AriseBank and its co-founders … Continue Reading

When Smart Contracts are Outsmarted: The Parity Wallet “Freeze” and Software Liability in the Internet of Value

The recent Parity wallet “freeze” provides yet another example of a coding vulnerability in a smart contract (rather than a flaw in the underlying blockchain or cryptography) resulting in an exploit that compromises cryptocurrency worth millions. It again highlights some of the pitfalls of insecure code in the context of digital assets and raises questions … Continue Reading
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