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About Crypto Law Insider

Crypto and blockchain law are undoubtedly some of the fastest developing areas of law. At the start of the last decade, there was complete regulatory uncertainty around crypto ownership, transactions and projects. It was a ‘Wild Wild West’, so to say, for crypto projects. 

In the time since, case by case, an entirely new regulatory framework for digital assets has begun to develop. 

Crypto Law Insider was designed to track the crypto sector’s progress toward regulatory certainty. 

The publication was founded by Dean Steinbeck, a crypto lawyer with over 15 years of experience representing VC-backed software development companies and crypto projects. 

Our mission is to help crypto lawyers, entrepreneurs, and investors stay on top of the latest developments in cryptocurrency regulations.

While there is a huge amount of real-time news sources on crypto law, typically it’s difficult to distinguish what really matters and what these developments actually mean for the crypto industry. Even more importantly, one must be able to sift through the copious amounts of false information out there.

Crypto Law Insider cuts through all this noise to shine a light on the legal developments that truly matter. We work to help interpret the legal jargon for crypto entrepreneurs and to report on the latest developments for crypto lawyers. 

So whether you have your own crypto project or you provide legal counsel to a crypto project, Crypto Law Insider is designed to be your one-stop resource on the latest developments in crypto law.

About Dean Steinbeck

Dean Steinbeck is the Managing Director of Crypto Law Insider. Dean is a US corporate lawyer with a focus on crypto, data privacy and technology.

With over 15 years of experience representing VC-backed software development companies, Dean has found himself at the center of multiple blockchain projects and is currently recognized as one of the top attorneys in the cryptocurrency space. The American Crypto Association listed Dean as one of the Top 25 Crypto Lawyers in 2020

Dean co-founded Horizen Labs, Inc., a VC-backed blockchain development company where he currently serves as COO and General Counsel. Dean also serves as General Counsel for Horizen (formerly ZenCash), the first permissionless, decentralized and privacy-enabled sidechain protocol. 

Prior to Horizen, Dean was General Counsel at TigerConnect, the leading communication platform in the US healthcare market. His experience gives him an in-depth knowledge of the legal intricacies within blockchain technology, data privacy, intellectual property, venture capital funding and regulatory compliance.

Crypto Law

This column is dedicated to tracking the overall progress toward regulatory certainty for digital assets. We cover essential topics for all crypto projects, from how to choose the best lawyer or legal team for your project, to how to make sure that you are sufficiently meeting international KYC and AML regulations.

Here are some of our most popular articles on cryptocurrency law:

ICO and STO Regulations

In 2017 and 2018, we saw Initial Coin Offerings take off as companies across the crypto space were excited to take advantage of a new and easy way to raise capital for their projects. Many assumed that since there weren’t any specific regulations regarding token offerings that such offerings were out of the purview of the SEC and other regulators. 

When we started this publication in late 2018, we warned Insiders this was not the case. All securities offerings, digitized or not, are subject to SEC regulations as long as they pass the four prongs of the Howey Test. Just as we expected, a few months later the SEC began cracking down on projects that had issued unregistered token offerings. 

How token offerings are regulated continues to evolve and we are keeping close tabs on this development. In particular, we are tracking how regulators create new requirements to match the concepts of ‘utility tokens’ and decentralized projects. 

We also look into DeFi innovations and other crypto financial instruments to determine if they should be considered securities offerings. Even if the SEC has not turned its attention to these projects yet, it will soon enough. All crypto entrepreneurs and investors should be aware of the risks to come when that day comes.

Here are some of the essentials that all projects should know about ICO and STO regulations:

Here are some of the latest cases related to unregistered ICOs:

And here are some crypto investments that may be unregistered securities:

Crypto-Friendly Jurisdictions

Over the last few years, jurisdictions around the world have rushed to establish legal frameworks for cryptocurrency and blockchain. Given the potential for crypto to disrupt a country’s financial system and monetary policies, governments have taken varying approaches.

Some countries immediately tried to ban the use of cryptocurrencies and crack down on crypto mining and other related activities. Meanwhile, others saw the tremendous opportunities in crypto and have welcomed crypto exchanges and projects to their shores with open arms.

In this section, we focus on the most crypto-friendly jurisdictions in the world, sifting through the claims to find the jurisdictions that truly offer the best business environment for crypto projects.

Our focus is on the ease of starting a crypto business in a jurisdiction, the clarity of its regulatory framework for crypto, tax requirements, and access to banking for crypto projects.

We also cover some of the least crypto-friendly jurisdictions and the dangers of doing business or trading within their borders.

There are a number of crypto-friendly jurisdictions out there, but here are some of our favorites:

And here are some of the jurisdictions that crypto projects and investors should avoid:

Blockchain Governance

Blockchain governance may not be the sexiest of topics for the casual reader, but for anyone in the space, it’s actually incredibly exciting! Now that blockchain enables projects to operate without a central authority, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of how a company can be structured.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to blockchain governance, but here are some of the key topics that you need to consider:

Interviews

Regularly we reach out to crypto founders and CEOs to get their personal insights into how certain regulations impact their projects or the relative successes of their blockchain governance models. As with everything, there’s always a difference between theory and reality, which is why it’s essential to get insight from the people who are there in the trenches. 

We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing a long line of incredible figures in the crypto space, but here are some of our favorite interviews:

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