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What are Current Cryptocurrency Legal Issues and Solutions?

Cryptocurrency Industry Legal Issues and Cryptocurrency Law

Our cryptocurrency industry experienced lawyers help cryptocurrency companies navigate the legal landscape and proactively advise on unique legal issues faced by the cryptocurrency industry.  

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses a decentralized ledger, typically a blockchain, to record and validate transactions.   Cryptocurrencies are “mined” by contributing processing power to transaction validation efforts – a process that is designed to become more computationally expensive with time in order to limit the availability of the currency.  The best-known cryptocurrency is bitcoin.   Common legal issues faced by cryptocurrency companies include:

  • Entity formation, capital, and financing strategies;

  • Brand protection;

  • Ownership and registration of intellectual property in software and other technology;

  • Acquisition of and enforcement of trademarks, patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights against infringers;

  • Employment and independent contractor agreements;

  • Licensing agreements including end user license agreements (EULAs);

  • Software development agreements;

  • Strategies for developing and protecting trade secrets;

  • Intellectual property indemnification agreements;

  • Regulatory compliance, especially with emerging securities regulations;

  • Non-disclosure agreements;

  • Identification of potentially applicable international laws;

  • Strategy to protect and monetize intellectual property rights; and

  • Defense of third-party infringement claims.

  • The litigation I have seen involving cryptocurrency mostly involved securities law. I think unwinding fraudulent transactions could be a necessary, but technically difficult area. Events like the collapse of Mt. Gox or the fraudulent Ethereum webpage at their ICO cost investors lots of money that seems virtually unrecoverable. Identification of security risks and the procurement of insurance to guard against them might be interesting.

  • If an entity were to gain control of more than half of the nodes that keep the ledger for a particular currency, the threat of fraudulent transactions is real.


Legal Solutions for the Cryptocurrency Industry

Clients in the cryptocurrency industry receive the full range of the firm’s services: litigation, intellectual property, and transactional. 

Our cryptocurrency industry team is experienced in copyright, trademark, and patent registration for software technology; anti-counterfeiting services to enforce patents, copyrights and trademarks against infringers and counterfeiters; drafting employment agreements; independent contractor agreements; trade secret protection strategies; NDAs and founder agreements to protect intellectual property rights and ensure they are owned by the company; drafting end user (EULAs) and other license agreements to safeguard rights in the software; negotiating indemnification agreements; identification of applicable regulations with which cryptocurrency software needs to comply such as export control regulations; drafting contract development agreements; and monetizing intellectual property rights in cryptocurrency.  

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