With crypto, the United Kingdom needs to put its house in order

This is the latest entry in my ICO Mania series of blog posts. The Shapps Incident Speaking as one who has long waited for legislators and regulators to get serious about cryptocurrency and blockchain tech, yesterday’s alleged scandal involving Grant Shapps MP is not only shocking, but it tells me that the state of ICO regulation in the UK is years away from being what it needs to be. For those of you who were living under a rock, Grant Shapps – former co-chair of the British Conservative Party and a member of Parliament in that country – yesterday stepped down from…

2017-18: a year in marmots

Why are you writing a retrospective of the last year? It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here on the blog. There is a reason for that – yesterday I finished taking the bar exam, so I’ve spent the last ten weeks huddled over a kitchen table, memorizing black-letter law. As it happens, today is a pretty consequential anniversary: one year ago today, I handed in my notice at the startup I co-founded, Monax, to move back home to (a) take care of an ailing parent and (b) attain a professional goal I’ve had ever since I was admitted as…

Back to my roots

Very pleased to catch up with Adam B. Levine, Stephanie Murphy, and my good friend Jonathan Mohan on the original (and still best) Bitcoin podcast, Let’s Talk Bitcoin, for the first time since 2014. Very pleased to be back on @LTBNetwork chatting with @GamerAndy, Stephanie Murphy @JonathanMohan this week. https://t.co/1GH4sWR6Pp — Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) June 17, 2018

Ether is not a Security?

 Not your lawyer, not legal advice. Following my post Whether Ether is a Security, in which I agreed with Gary Gensler’s assessment that Ether is probably a security, and Ether was (probably) a security, in which the WSJ leaked that regulators did in fact consider Ether to be a security, SEC director William Hinman announced today that it is his view that Ethereum is likely not a security – although it may have been one in the past. This has been received by the market as semi-official opinion of the agency, as it should be. In practice, I suspect this means that…

If ETH Isn’t a Security Then Nothing Is

Originally posted on Mechanical Markets:
Ethereum tokens (ETH) are often considered commodities but not securities, like Bitcoins. [1] But I think that ETH meets any common sense definition of “security” and that the ETH ecosystem needs to be closely examined by securities regulators. I’m not a lawyer, and not the right person to be making this argument, but it seems important and urgent — so I hope you’ll forgive any errors. [2] Ethereum’s Announcement The Ethereum Project was announced on the bitcointalk.org forum in January 2014 by cofounder Vitalik Buterin. The announcement solicited “investors and evangelists” who would be protected…