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ASX Updates Guidance for Cryptocurrency Projects - Aug 2019

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has been lauded globally for their early movement into the distributed ledger technology (DLT) space.  The ASX project to replace the ageing CHESS system, is rightly reported as cutting edge technology which could bring new efficiencies to share trading.

Trade Marks and Blockchain: Technology Update - Jul 2019

Partner, Michael Bacina recently presented at the 10th Annual Trade Marks and Patents Conference in Sydney to explain blockchain technology and how it is affecting trade marks.

This article includes key takeaways on upcoming Blockchain projects which will impact trademarks and patents. For the uninitiated, an introduction to blockchain is available here.

Facebook’s Libra Coin and Australian Law: Liberty or Lawlessness? - Jun 2019

On 18 June 2019 Facebook released its whitepaper for its long-awaited planned cryptocurrency Libra coin, disclosing that Facebook will participate in, but not control the new token, which will be governed by the Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit membership organisation headquartered in Geneva Switzerland. Given the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has recently updated its INFO 225 guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets, we consider some key legal issues around Libra under Australian law.

ASIC Updates crypto-asset guidance - it's one small step for man... - Jun 2019

On Thursday 30 May 2019, ASIC updated its guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets. Since being last updated in May 2018, INFO225 has become more comprehensive and now specifically refers to more business models, with a number of new examples included in order to provide readers with a better idea of how ASIC will likely treat their use of crypto-assets.

Partner, Michael Bacina, and lawyer, Tom Skevington, review the updated guidance and what it means for participants in the blockchain and crypto-asset industry.

One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges hacked for 7,000 Bitcoins - May 2019

One of the world’s largest global cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, revealed this month that hackers had withdrawn over 7,000 Bitcoin in one transaction.

Lawyers Louisa Xu and Chelsea Payne detail what Binance has revealed of the hack.

The Long Shadow of Mt. Gox - Mar 2019

In the wake of the fifth anniversary of Mt Gox’s collapse, it is worth re-examining what happened and considering some of the key legal issues which have arisen since.  Founded by technological entrepreneur Jed McCaleb and launched in July 2010, Mt Gox was a bitcoin exchange platform based in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to its collapse in 2014, Mt Gox was the largest Bitcoin trading exchange in the world, boasting over 24,700 customers globally.  During it’s peak, it was estimated to have accounted for 70-80% of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide, having held around 850,000 Bitcoins, which are today worth approximately AUD$4.28B.

As the largest and earliest significant collapse of a crypto business, it is interesting to consider how the Courts and law have tried to deal with the novel issues raised by the situation.

Regulating STOs and Token Offerings: Australian Treasury seeks submissions - Feb 2019

As part of a review into Initial Coin Offerings, the Australian Government Treasury has recently published an Issues Paper (Review) inviting public submissions on the regulatory framework surrounding offerings of cryptographic tokens.  With a significant sum raised by businesses globally in 2017/2018 via the issue of tokens, various jurisdictions have been adjusting their regulatory perimeter to encourage innovation in blockchain while still protecting investors.  The issue paper takes an optimistic tone but it remains to be seen if Australia will remake itself as a global hub for innovative financial product offerings. 

Before getting into the details of the paper, we note that treasury has used the phrase “ICO” heavily. Given that the use of “ICO” is falling out of favour in a depressed market for so called “utility tokens” and the increasing rise of so called “security tokens” or “STOs”, we will use the more neutral “token offering” in this article to refer to offerings made which are in the form of cryptographic tokens.

Beyond the Hype Cycle: Blockchain explainer - Oct 2018

Piper Alderman’s Blockchain Group has been at the forefront of the blockchain revolution, advising leading Australian and international projects using this exciting new technology to gain greater business efficiencies, forge new business models and disrupt incumbent intermediaries.  We regularly present explainers on Blockchain, and in this article we set out a primer and some examples of how Blockchain technology operates, to assist you in understanding some key concepts in the technology.

Podcast: Blockchain, cryptocurrency and changing client expectations - Jul 2018

Michael Bacina talks to Jerome Doraisamy in the latest edition of Lawyers Weekly podcast: "Blockchain, cryptocurrency and changing client expectations".  Listen to learn more about ways in which blockchain and cryptocurrency innovations are driving change in the legal sector. 

So you want to run an Initial Coin Offering/Token Sale in Australia… - Jun 2018

There has been increasing interest in initial coin offering/token sale/token generation events (ICO) in Australia this year. Below we set out 5 key areas and recent developments you should be aware of if you are considering running an ICO/token sale.

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