Crypto Garage Becomes First FinTech Participant in Japan’s Regulatory Sandbox

In June 2018, the Government of Japan introduced a framework under the Act on Special Measures for Productivity Improvement (seisansei koujou tokubetsu sochi hou) to encourage innovation through a project- based ‘regulatory sandbox’.  The purpose was to create an environment in which businesses can conduct proof of concept and pilot testing for new technologies and business models that are not covered by existing regulations.  The aim is to facilitate the

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Blockchain, Japan, Sandbox

What To Expect When Litigating Smart Contract Disputes

The blockchain phenomenon has brought an ever increasing use of smart contracts.  Those contracts raise numerous issue for disputes lawyers.  Some are variations of old themes.  But others are unique to developing technologies.  Our ” What To Expect When Litigating Smart Contract Disputes” article looks at both sets of issues.

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DAO, Smart Contracts, US

Cryptoassets: Europe Moves Towards Regulation

On 9 January 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published advice on ICOs and cryptoassets to the European Commission and other EU institutions.  This development is very much part of the international trend in favour of regulating cryptoassets.  The advice identifies gaps and issues with current EU regulation (or, rather, the absence of it).  For those cryptoassets which are caught by financial regulation, ESMA describes the current regime

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Cryptoassets, EBA, ESMA, EU, UK

Danish Tax Agency Accesses Crypto Exchange Data to Tax Traders

On Jan. 14, 2019, Danish tax agency Skattestryrelsen received authorization from the nation’s tax council to collect two years of cryptocurrency trading information from three Danish crypto exchanges to ensure that its citizens have paid correct taxes. The three exchanges must now provide the tax agency with information on all purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin – made by their customers during the period from Jan. 1, 2016

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Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Denmark, Tax

Digital Currencies and Digital Tokens are Regulated as Securities Under Malaysian Securities Laws

Pursuant to the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 (the “Prescription Order“), which came into force on 15 January 2019, digital currencies and digital tokens which are not issued or guaranteed by any government body or central bank, and fulfils other specific features, are prescribed as securities. The implications of treating digital currencies and digital tokens as securities are significant as the

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Cryptocurrency, ICO, Malaysia

Blockchain, IP, and the Pharma Industry – How Distributed Ledger Technologies can help Secure the Pharma Supply Chain

In this article, Ruth Burstall and Birgit Clark of Baker McKenzie, London explore the various opportunities created by blockchain to enhance the supply chain control of pharmaceutical companies.  Blockchain cannot only help with monitoring a pharmaceutical product’s progress through various stages, from sourcing the raw materials to manufacturing and supply chain, but it can also help with meeting regulatory traceability requirements, such as those under the Drug Supply Chain Security

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EU, Intellectual Property, Pharma

Time to get smart? Blockchain and Trademarks

It may be the moment for the IP profession to get to grips with the use of blockchain technology in its practice. Blockchain has, of course, risen to its current fame as the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but how relevant is it to IP professionals and trademark law and practice?  In their Article, Time to Get Smart?, Birgit Clark and Rachel Wilkinson-Duffy, Baker McKenzie, London, explore the idea

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EU, Intellectual Property, Smart Contracts, Trademark, Uncategorized

Blockchain Leadership Summit in Basel

On the 23rd and 24th November 2018, the Blockchain Leadership Summit was held in Basel, Switzerland. The participating leaders represented states (for example, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat), blockchain businesses, the finance sector, academia as well as various industries. Manuel Meyer and Yves Mauchle of Baker McKenzie Zurich held a workshop on structuring an initial coin offering. The first topic of the workshop was the regulatory categorization of the token

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EU, ICO, Switzerland

HMRC Publishes Guidance on the Taxation of Cryptoassets for Individuals

This week HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”), the UK’s tax authority, set out its view on how individuals should be taxed when handling cryptoassets which can be used as a method of payment, such as Bitcoin. There are no significant surprises in HMRC’s guidance, which relies on existing principles to determine whether income tax or capital gains tax applies. However, when dealing with cryptoassets, individuals should be aware that they

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Bitcoin, Cryptoassets, Cryptocurrency, Tax, UK

A Series Of 1st-Time Crypto Actions For The SEC

On December 17 we published an article in Law360 describing the SEC’s busy November in which it secured three “firsts” in its crackdown on unlawful digital activity: (1) its first enforcement action against an entity for operating as an unregulated national securities exchange; (2) its first cases imposing civil penalties solely for ICO securities offering registration violations; and (3) its first cases charging touting violations involving ICOs.  By highlighting its

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Enforcement, ICO, SEC, US