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Legal Impacts of Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

August 26, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC-5


Watch the Video Recording of This Event

A Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), sometimes labeled a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members, and not influenced by a central government. A DAO’s financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear.

One of the first DAOs was launched in 2016 as a venture capital organization. It raised about $150 million in crowdfunding before it was hacked and failed. However, since then many new DAOs have merged including decentralized exchanges, and many new types of DAOs are being built today. Communities around the world building DAOs have lots of questions. They include:

  • How do government regulations regarding corporate formation apply to an organization on a global blockchain developed by members around the world?
  • What legal jurisdiction applies to it?
  • Who has liability for the organization and it’s actions if the actions are made by a consensus of the members?
  • How are issues of liability addressed when someone may feel wronged?
  • What are the intellectual-property considerations? Can a DAO own property?
  • If a DAO makes a profit, how is it taxed? what jurisdiction applies to it?
  • How would a DAO deal with technology transfer regulations?
  • What reporting requirements would it have and to whom?

Come and join an online discussion about these topics with members of the GBA Working Group. We will have a panel of three speakers followed by a question and answer session and open dialog with event participants. Our speakers include:

  • Miles Vaughn – Miles is a privacy and regulatory compliance attorney with expertise in the financial services industry. An expert in money transmission licensing, he provides advice for virtual currency companies attempting to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape. He has a strong technical understanding of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies and has recently been published on the use of DLT in financial record-keeping systems and the impact of GDPR on blockchain enterprises. Miles has work experience in both the public and private sectors, including the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, and Facebook. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional for both the United States and Europe (CIPP/US, CIPP/E) and has extensive experience with both domestic and international privacy regulations. Miles is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law and has a degree in Chinese Language Studies and International Relations from the University of Rochester. Miles is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.
  • Eric Guthrie, Esq. – GBA Director of Training Programs and Published Blockchain Author.
  • Mike Bombace – Mr. Bombace advises several clients on Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, and other emerging technologies related to the payments, legal and regulatory needs, and compliance. He is an alumnus of Ripple, Citi, Booz Allen, and others.
  • Michael HensonMr. Henson specializes in intellectual property law and he counsels technology companies of varying sizes. He is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent Office and my practice emphasizes patent prosecution, patent litigation, and strategic patent portfolio management and analysis. He also participates in various industry groups within the firm, including the Blockchain industry group, the Fintech industry group, and the unmanned vehicle systems (UVS) industry group. He has various blockchain-related certifications, including CBDE, CBSA, and CBBF.
  • Mike Selig -Mike is a Fintech Attorney at Perkins Coie LLP. Michael Selig* focuses his practice on innovative financial technologies. He counsels clients on the application of federal and state commodities, securities, banking and money transmission laws to novel technologies and technology transactions. This includes advising clients on the operation of rules and regulations promulgated by the CFTC, SEC, FTC, FinCEN, banking regulators, and state agencies.Michael works with technology companies and exchanges that use distributed ledger technology to issue or offer trading of crypto assets, enhance trade execution and clearing, and streamline business operations. This includes guiding companies through the crypto asset sale or grant process; drafting and providing advice regarding technology agreements and documentation; advising on the applicability of U.S. and foreign laws and regulations; preparing registration and licensing applications; and counseling on corporate matters. He also advises funds, financial institutions, digital wallet and custodial services businesses, payment processors, nonprofit organizations and e-commerce merchants on issues related to the transfer and storage of crypto assets.Additionally, Michael counsels clients in matters related to commodities, foreign exchange and derivatives trading. This includes advising end-users, swap dealers, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators, and exchanges on the application of commodity laws and regulations to their business operations, negotiating swap master agreements and credit documentation, and representing companies in investigations and enforcement actions.Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Michael was a law clerk in the office of CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo.

This event is free, but please register below

This event is at 1:00 PM (Washington, DC Time)

Meeting Details:  https://zoom.us/j/94639886874

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August 26, 2020
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC-5
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