Non-Tether Edition — Distributed Counsel 17


Among the dying embers of his career as a law student, Matt Damon’s character in Rounders  is driving a delivery truck on a cold gray morning having quit the game he loves.  He laments that he could “turn this truck onto the Jersey turnpike and be at the Taj in three hours, but I’ve made promises.”  Well, Dear Reader, so have I, and so there will be no Tether commentary today.

Fidelity Is In

Easily the biggest news of the month. Fidelity has announced the formation of a separate company that will bring cryptocurrency trading to institutional clients. Of course, this market is a seductive but fickle temptress. Coinbase is going in exactly the opposite direction, having abandoned all hope of institutional riches. Fidelity thinks it can do better (and truth be told I tend to agree), but first they will need to solve, you guessed it, custody.  There is that word again.  Any way you slice it, this is positive news for sector.

Roubini and Van Valkenburgh Testify

So much ink has been spilt on this testimony–I’m just going to give you my gut sense of it:   Roubini might have made some terrific points but he came off like an old man defending the honor of his lawn.  Van Valkenburgh was more measured, and frankly delivered exactly the performance that was needed for the audience.  The written testimonies are attached here and here. Both are fantastic and convincing.  Roubini actually uses the word shitcoin.

Apple Opens Up

Apple has announced a new privacy website containing detailed information concerning how data subjects can access information Apple has about them and control access by Apple and third parties in the future.  The website is worth a visit, a few of the more interesting features that stuck out were:

  • Apple allows you to opt out of interest-based advertising on its Safari browser, and on all applications.  On your Iphone it is very easy, just go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and turn on “Limit Ad Tracking.”  You can also view the information they have about you on the same screen.
  • Apple allows you to make DuckDuckGo your default search engine.  This is a big coup for the privacy-focused search engine and a clear shotacrossthebow at Google.

Apple is making a commitment to privacy as a feature.  This was previewed by Apple CEO Tim Cook when he went after Facebook for monetizing personal data.  Amazon just did a commercial where Alexa congratulated a guy on being a good dad.  These are two very different approaches.  For my money, I think Alexa should stick to playing Baby Shark over and over and over and over again.  Not that I don’t enjoy it.

It Ain’t 2017

What a difference a year makes?  Last year, I could have probably raised million or two with just my good looks and prescient comedic timing.  Maybe the market wasn’t quite that frothy, but it was close. Now, it is . . . different.

Civil has announced that it will no longer pursue an ICO after receiving only about 13% of its targeted funding amount, $8 million.    Eight million is nothing to sneeze at but it is nowhere near the gaudy numbers that were raised last year–think Tezos and EOS.  It is clear the ICO market is maturing, and this is not all bad.

A Personal Note

Last week I had the terrific privilege of speaking on a panel with Josh Klayman and Jeff Truit in Montreal (ably moderated by Mark Elliott).  The topic was cryptocurrency litigation trends but we also talked a bit of history and yours truly was in charge of the Blockchain 101 portion of the presentation.

I’m presenting on the same topic this week in Chicago–at the Ivy Room on October 25.  If you are interested in attending please DM me on twitter, message me on LinkedIn, or just use the Firm email.  I’ll be laser-focused on the Electronic Health Record use-case for this one; I’ve only got about 20 minutes.

As always, thank you for reading.


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