Articles

Locked Out: Estate Planning for Bitcoin, AltCoins, and Asset-Tokens
Published March 2016
Summary: A basic overview covering what lawyers need to know about estate planning and these new technologies. The article highlights some of the challenges with protecting these types of assets and provides a brief overview of the solutions being used today. There are links to conferences and legal organizations for readers to learn more about the technology and its implications to the practice of law.

Modernizing Client Trust Accounts: using bitcoin’s features to protect clients and attorneys.
Published March 2014; revised June 2015 and published as part of a CLE program; revised February 2016
Summary: This article explains why bitcoin’s multisignature features provide a viable alternative to current system using IOLTA, custodial client trust accounts. First, it explores the history of trust accounts, why they used to be necessary, and their common failings. Then the article delineates four options for using bitcoin’s features to reduce risk and increase transparency. Finally, a step-by-step implementation guide is provided, complete with screenshots, for those who want to test the system.

When Disaster Strikes: Developing a Recovery Plan for Bitcoin and Digital Tokens
Bitcoin Magazine, August 2015
Summary: A best practices guide for investors, directors, operators, employees, and clients #bitcoin, #altcoin, #assettoken businesses. It provides guidance on how to create a robust recovery plan in an effort to ensure ongoing access to private keys in the event of disaster.

Get Your Security Deposit Back with Bitcoin
Bitcoin Magazine, June 2015
Summary: If you have a “they-kept-my-security-deposit” story, this article is for you. It highlights one way that bitcoin technology can quickly, easily, and cheaply solve a real problem for millions of renters.

Security Theater: The Illusion of Consumer Protection by Outsourcing Identity Verification
Bitcoin Magazine, May 2015
Summary: Often the illusion of security is powerful and real security can seem counter-intuitive to those outside of the industry. This article highlights why third-party identity verification might be more dangerous than you think.

Empowering Women in Co-Ops: Finding Financial Freedom and Control in Bitcoin’s Multi-Sig Technology
Digital Currency Counsel, March 2015
Summary: This article discusses how a 7-of-12 multi-signature address can empower women in co-ops to bypass cultural and social challenges. Although this specific use case is highlighted, any organization with 15 or fewer members can utilize the same technology and benefits. #InternationalWomensDay #MakeItHappen

Default Law: Arial 11 isn’t your only option
Empowered Law, February 2015
Summary: This article encourages bitcoin and blockchain based start-ups to choose a business entity instead of being stuck with the legal default of sole proprietorship or partnership (a very common problem in the industry).

Multisignature Operating Manual
Empowered Law, June 2014
Summary: A technical guide of best practices in creating and implementing multisignature addresses.

Using Bitcoin’s Multisignature Addresses for Corporate Governance
Empowered Law, May 2014
Summary: This is a how-to guide to implement separation of duties, accountability, and structure within an organization using bitcoin’s built-in mulitsig feature.

Proof of Existence on the Bitcoin Blockchain
Empowered Law, March 2014
Summary: How-to use Proof of Existence to securely time-stamp a document on the bitcoin blockchain.

NOTICE: The views expressed within these articles are subject to change based upon new information, new technology, considering new perspectives, or for no reason at all. Nothing on this site should be considered legal advice, each situation is unique, and the only way to get great counsel is to consult directly and privately with a licensed attorney. If you need help finding an attorney in the U.S. contact the American Bar Association. If you need help finding an attorney outside of the U.S. contact us.

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