By Lance Koonce

Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are currently in the midst of the type of hype-cycle last seen in the blockchain/crypto world when Initial Coin Offerings were all the rage. On March 11, 2021, an NFT associated with a piece of digital art sold at auction at Christie’s for $69 million. Other NFTs, such as one based on Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet, are selling for millions as well, and there is an active secondary market for some NFTs which can drive prices up quickly after the initial sale.

Just as with any other white-hot tech innovation, when the dust…


NY Update. Our numbers continue to rise by virtually any metric you choose, but NY still remains low by comparison with other states.

In Westchester, as recently as 6 weeks ago, we were averaging less than 300 new cases per week. As of the past week, we’re now averaging 859 new cases per week. Here’s a chart showing the number of cases diagnosed daily, since March 12 — you can see that after a long period of steady but low spread, we’ve started moving higher over the past month or so.

The testing-positive percentage in Westchester has also been rising…


By Marcus Williams, Lance Koonce, and Kennard L. Noyes

There is a certain irony in the fact that the legal principles that currently govern the regulatory treatment of cryptocurrencies draw primarily from a 1946 case dealing with investment contracts in Florida orange groves. However, to experienced observers, the outcome should not be particularly surprising: SEC Director William H. Hinman’s remarks on June 14, 2018, at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto, titled “Digital Asset Transactions: When Howey Met Gary (Plastic)” included arguably the SEC’s most important guidance to date on the regulatory approach to sales of digital assets. …


Tree Of Knowledge by Knilram via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC NC

Part I: Why It Matters

Summary: In the first of a three-part series on blockchain technology, we explore why blockchain matters and how it will soon begin to affect businesses — and in particular their in-house counsel. This article was first published over at InTheHouse.org.

When anyone touts a new technology as “revolutionary,” some skepticism is in order. If someone tells you something is going to be “as big as the Internet,” you should probably nod politely and move along.

Blockchains, the technology under the hood of Bitcoin, have already been the subject of a lot of hype. The story goes like this: Bitcoin has…


Our annual DOWNLOAD event will be taking place tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s sold out, but we’ll be blogging about the blockchain session we’re doing in the afternoon. We’re especially excited to welcome our three great panelists, Carlos Mendez of Crayhill Capital and Monegraph; Yorke Rhodes from Microsoft; and Rik Willard of Agentic, to the DOWNLOAD stage.

Here’s a description of the panel:

BEYOND BLOCKCHAIN: Distributed Networks for All Industries

When the bitcoin cryptocurrency first appeared seven years ago, few expected that its implications would stretch beyond virtual currency and online payments. …


The Future of Voting

In the wake of the most intensely anticipated — and certainly the most Tweeted and meme-ified — presidential debate in history, I spoke on a panel last week on election and voting tech at the New York County Lawyers Association. (Thanks to my partner in crime Joe Bambara for organizing a great session, and to panelists David Webb and Jim Kastis for their insights.)

Just like the debate — ok, maybe not just like the debate — our discussion had moments of confrontation, in particular around the concern that too much focus on technology solutions can come at the cost…


For Once, A Poll That Has Nothing to Do with Trump

By Adam Shoemaker

In another signal of the growing importance of blockchain technology, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) recently polled its members seeking information about their plans to use the technology, and came up with some surprising results.

The WFE is the trade association of publicly regulated stock, futures, and options exchanges.

The WFE’s poll showed that more than 84 percent of members were either investigating or actively pursuing blockchain initiatives. The expected time for rollout of the technology ranged from less than three years to an indeterminate evaluation period. …


Smart Contracts and Digital Asset Management

Summary: In order to promote more efficient licensing systems for content, the industry needs to encourage the development of standardized contracting languages, as well as experimentation with code-based smart contracts.

There’s a moment in the new play Privacy, written by James Graham and currently running at the Public Theater in New York, when the main character, played by Daniel Radcliffe, sits down at a restaurant with the founder of an online dating service, who mentions casually that nearly nine-tenths of the single adults in the United States have tried online dating.

This number surprised me. If correct, this means that…


The Road From Legalese to Code

Summary: Before we can decide whether smart contracts are going to bring significant change to business and law, we first need to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing.

The term “smart contracts” gets tossed around a lot lately in the context of blockchain and related technologies. As an attorney, I’m often asked what the term means, and whether smart contracts represent a big shift in the future of contracting.

The short answers are: (1) it depends; and (2) sort of.

The Backdrop

It does seem that everyone is talking about smart contracts. People…


Summary: NPR’s Laura Sydell highlights a push by major artists to revamp the DMCA safe harbor, and we briefly explore whether there may be technological solutions waiting in the wings.

Our last several posts on this blog have been about the creative commons, and how non-commercial, open sharing of content — facilitated by new technologies like blockchain— can help build the public domain and, potentially, spur greater creativity and create value for artists. For instance, we recently highlighted the story of a photographer who has had impressive success driven by contributing works to the commons.

But there’s great piece today…

Lance Koonce

Father, Tech/IP Lawyer, Dis(Mis?)placed Carolinian. Tweets about #IP #blockchain #bitcoin #AI #VR #privacy #NYCtech

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