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Category Archives: Blockchain

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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Robert Silvers

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Our guest for the episode is Rob Silvers, the assistant secretary for cybersecurity policy at DHS.  He talks about what the government can and should do about newly potent DDOS attacks and the related problem of the Internet of Things.  The only good news: insecure debrillators and pacemakers may kill you, but they haven’t yet been… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Jamie Smith

Posted in Blockchain, International, Virtual Currency

With Stewart on vacation, the blockchain takes over the podcast! In episode 121, Jason Weinstein and Alan Cohn talk all things bitcoin, blockchain, and distributed ledger technology, and interview Jamie Smith, Global Chief Communications Officer for the BitFury Group, one of the largest full-service blockchain technology companies. In the news roundup, Alan led off with… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Dmitri Alperovitch

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, International, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

Ransomware is the new black.  In fact, it’s the new China.  So says our guest for episode 116, Dmitri Alperovitch, the CTO and co-founder of CrowdStrike.  Dmitri explains why ransomware is so attractive financially – and therefore likely to get much worse very fast.  He and I also explore the implications and attribution of the… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Perianne Boring

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

In episode 109, we interview Perianne Boring of the Chamber of Digital Commerce on the regulatory challenges of bitcoin and the blockchain.  In the news roundup, we bring back Apple v. FBI for what we hope will be one last round, as the San Bernardino magistrate voids her All Writs Act motion for mootness and… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Robin Weisman and Peter Van Valkenburgh

Posted in Blockchain, China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

Doing our best to avoid turning this into the Applelaw podcast, episode 105 begins with Maury Shenk unpacking the new US-EU Privacy Shield details.  His take: more hassles for companies accused of noncompliance, more detailed privacy disclosures and compliance obligations for most members, and a modicum of pain for the intelligence community, but it’s still… Continue Reading

FinTech Bits: Are Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies Securities?

Posted in Blockchain, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

Anyone who has tried to explain bitcoin around their kitchen table knows that it is not easy to put your finger on what exactly the technology is.  Because of their innovative nature, digital currencies don’t have obvious analogs or fit easily into existing categories.  Bitcoin is part currency, part digital payment system, and part immutable… Continue Reading

FinTech Bits: Bitcoin and Terrorist Financing

Posted in Blockchain, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

Following the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, polls show that Americans identify terrorism—more than any other issue—as the most important problem facing the US.  In this environment, some media outlets have predicted a pending “crackdown” on digital currencies, particularly by European governments, because of the risk that the technology could be used to fund… Continue Reading

FinTech Bits: Outlook for 2016

Posted in Blockchain, Virtual Currency

CoinDesk, a leading source for bitcoin and FinTech news, published an op-ed by Jason Weinstein and Alan Cohn on “4 Trends That Will Shape Bitcoin Regulation in 2016.”  The piece identifies emerging developments in the fast-changing world of digital currency regulation. Now that multiple federal agencies have outlined their regulatory mandates, expect increased ‘regulation by… Continue Reading

FinTech Bits: What Does Donald Trump Think About Bitcoin?

Posted in Blockchain, Virtual Currency

This week featured interesting remarks from two of the most influential thought leaders in Bitcoin and the blockchain – Blythe Masters and Brian Forde. During SourceMedia’s Convene conference, Masters, the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, observed that while we are in the early days of development for Bitcoin and the blockchain, similar to where we… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Michael Casey

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Privacy Regulation

Hip Hop Summit at Graceland: Michael Casey and Digital Money Bitcoin and the blockchain – how do they work and what do they mean for financial and government services and for consumers? And who holds massive stores of bitcoin that can’t be spent without solving one of the great financial mysteries of our time?  Our… Continue Reading

FinTech Bits: Bitcoin Is No Longer All Greek to the Greeks

Posted in Blockchain, International, Virtual Currency

In prior posts we’ve observed that the technology underlying Bitcoin – the “blockchain” – presents a world of possible applications unrelated to the use of Bitcoin as a currency. From securities settlement to remittances to asset transfer to the Internet of Things, the possibilities are endless, and some of the best and brightest minds in… Continue Reading

Why Bitcoin Is Good for Law Enforcement

Posted in Blockchain, Virtual Currency

IAPP published my op-ed today on “Why Bitcoin is Good for Law Enforcement.”  In it I discuss how with every advance in technology, criminals are early adopters, and law enforcement has to play catch-up.  Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology are just the latest examples.  But the blockchain actually provides significant benefits to law enforcement… Continue Reading

Digital Payments and Currencies: Global Threat or Opportunity?

Posted in Blockchain, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

On Thursday, April 23, I spoke at the Bretton Woods Committee seminar, “Digital Payments and Currencies: Global Threat or Opportunity?”  The panel discussed the changes digital currencies and payment systems have brought to the market and the disruptive potential of a future in which they may become more conventional. An audio clip of the seminar… Continue Reading

Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with David Anderson

Posted in Blockchain, China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, PCLOB, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

Privacy advocates are embracing a recent report recommending that the government require bulk data retention by carriers and perhaps web service providers, exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction over data stored abroad, and expand reliance on classified judicial warrants.  In what alternative universe is this true, you ask?  No need to look far.  That’s the state of the… Continue Reading

Are New York’s BitLicense Rules Good or Bad for Bitcoin?

Posted in Blockchain, Security Programs & Policies, Virtual Currency

It’s only been about a week since New York’s outgoing Superintendent of Financial Services Ben Lawsky released the long-awaited “BitLicense” rules for digital currency businesses operating in New York, but it’s not too early to try to assess the potential impact of those rules on the development of Bitcoin-related businesses and emerging financial technologies. The… Continue Reading

Why Bitcoin is Good for Law Enforcement – and Why Law Enforcement is Good for Bitcoin

Posted in Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Security Programs & Policies, Uncategorized

Most people who’ve heard of “Bitcoin” know it only as a virtual currency sometimes used by criminals.  But there are entrepreneurs, engineers, venture capitalists, and bankers who are betting big on the untapped economic potential of the “blockchain” – the underlying technology that makes Bitcoin run.  In a sense, Bitcoin is just the first “app”… Continue Reading