Way back (if we’re counting tech years) in 2014, artist Kevin McCoy (“McCoy”) created a digital record of his pulsating, octagon-shaped digital artwork Quantum on the Namecoin blockchain on May 2, 2014, thereby minting “the first NFT.” A lot has happened in the digital asset and NFT space since that
This past month, a California district court granted a motion to compel arbitration of various claims by customers of cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coinbase Global, Inc. (“Coinbase”), finding that Coinbase’s User Agreement, which contains a broad arbitration provision, including a delegation clause that delegates questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator. (Donovan v. Coinbase Global, Inc., No. 22-02826 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 6, 2023)). Unlike some electronic contracting disputes, which turn on whether the user had adequate notice of the terms and manifested consent to such terms (a ruling which often involves an examination of a site or app’s screen display and whether the user is reasonably presented with notice that completing a transaction will bind the user to terms of service), the account holders in this case did not dispute that they had agreed to the User Agreement, rather they argued that the arbitration provision and delegation clauses were unconscionable and unenforceable.
At 2:43am EST on September 15, 2022, the first Ethereum block was validated using Proof of Stake, signaling the success of the Ethereum Merge, one of the most anticipated events in blockchain and computer science history. The Merge shifted the Ethereum blockchain (native token ETH, or ether) from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which has reduced the network’s energy usage by about 99.5%. Ethereum now facilitates a 7-day average of over one-million transactions per day, at a volume of over $600 million per day, making the Merge an engineering feat akin to swapping a car’s engine while it’s driving on the Autobahn.
On July 23, the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”) issued a press release announcing the establishment of a new Research and Innovation Division (the “Division”) within the DFS.
The Division will take on the responsibility of licensing and supervising entities engaged in “virtual currency business activity”…
On January 24, 2019 the New York Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”) announced that it had granted BitLicenses to Robinhood Crypto, LLC and Moon Inc. (d/b/a LibertyX). These are the fifteenth and sixteenth BitLicenses granted by the DFS since the final BitLicense rules were released in 2015.
Last July, the Uniform Law Commission completed a uniform model state law, known as the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act (“URVCBA” or the “Act”) (Steve Weise participated in the preparation of the Act). Currently, state regulation in the virtual currency space is carried out under a patchwork of laws that typically do not directly contemplate virtual currency and blockchain technology. Attempting to bring clarity as to which types of entities require state licensure and also to encourage responsible innovation in this emerging area, the URVCBA provides a statutory framework for the regulation of companies engaging in “virtual-currency business activity.” After carefully defining which activities fall under the Act’s purview, the uniform law requires covered entities to make the typical financial and business disclosures in its application, and also contains numerous user and consumer protections, including certain enforcement powers by the relevant state authority.
The mission of the Uniform Law Commission is to draft state laws on topics where standardized regulation across state lines is practical (e.g., the Uniform Commercial Code (the “UCC”)). Gaining final approval in 2017, the Act has so far been introduced in Connecticut, Hawaii, and Nebraska.