Addison Cameron-Huff, Blockchain Lawyer

Thoughts and opinions of a Toronto-based cryptocurrency lawyer who's worked in the industry since 2014.

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I'm the World's First "Certified Bitcoin Professional" Lawyer

Apparently I'm the world's first Certified Bitcoin Professional lawyer:

The Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP) designation is a new professional designation run by the "Crypto Currency Certification Consortium". Among the many people involved is Michael Perklin of bitcoinsultants.

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Slides for LawTechCamp 2014

I'm at LawTechCamp 2014 at Ryerson DMZ. Here are the slides for my talk that's coming up at 12:50.

PDF Version: why-has-software-not-revolutionized-law-slides.pdf

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Bitcoin May Replace Wire Transfers

A few weeks ago I spoke with someone who buys a lot of Bitcoin. They buy it and then immediately send it to a supplier in China who then ships them manufactured goods. They used to use wire transfers but said it took about four days to clear and the Chinese company wouldn't ship the goods until they got the money. With Bitcoin they get the money immediately and he gets his goods four days sooner. The buyer also saved a bit on wire transfer/currency conversion fees.

Bitcoin would be a great way for banks to settle transactions between themselves without using intermediate banks/payment networks because it's instantaneous and irreversible. This could enable banks to offer wire transfer-like products that settle in minutes instead of days (or weeks).

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New Ontario Tech Startup Grant Fund

There's a new grant program available to Ontario tech entrepreneurs who are 18-29 and affiliated with a university:

The grant program is called the "SmartStart Seed Fund" and is a program delivered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

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LawTechCamp: Sept. 6th

LawTechCamp 2014 is coming up this September 6th at Ryerson's DMZ. It's a BarCamp-like event for legal technology and if last year's speakers are any indication, it looks like it'll be a who's who of Toronto legal tech people.

[Update: my law practice is now a sponsor of LawTechCamp 2014!]

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Don't Put the Accountants in Charge of Bitcoin

If your business is considering using Bitcoin then please don't put the accountants in charge (or at least the internal auditors).

In this month's issue of Internal Auditor Magazine (put out by the 180,000 member Institute of Internal Auditors) there's an article titled "Digital Currency Risks" that describes Bitcoin as being used by "10,000" people with "12.8 million" bitcoins in circulation ("worth about US$8 million").

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Is Sending Spam Worse Than Killing a Blue Whale?

Killing an endangered blue whale has a softer penalty than breaching Canada's new anti-spam laws by sending a single unsolicited email. The Canadian anti-spam legislation (full text) is now in force and penalties for violations are theoretically up to $1 million for an individual who sends one email without consent and $10 million for a business.

$1 million for sending one spam message is completely out of step with the penalties for other Canadian laws. Here are a few examples of penalties for individuals under other laws:

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How Bitcoin Might Change Your Paycheque

People are paid every two weeks because it's too expensive to pay people daily. I mean too expensive both in the sense of administrative overhead (if people are paid manually) and transaction fees (cheques/EFT fees).

Bitcoin offers the potential to pay people daily or even hourly because transaction fees are reduced to near zero. Here's an interesting article that explores this concept and the idea of paying for performance using Bitcoin/Ethereum:

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Bitcoin Scripts

Interesting blog post on how to use the Bitcoin scripting language to build complex applications:

The examples they give are Kickstarter-type campaigns, escrow and gambling. I didn't know these sorts of applications could be built (trustlessly) on top of the Bitcoin scripting language.

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Open Data: Canadian Securities Filings Are Behind a Paywall

Information about Canadian public company quarterly reports, insider trades, and more is only being made available to companies who pay a (secret) licensing fee. Individuals can access individual filings (after solving a CAPTCHA) but the information is not free for re-use nor available in a machine readable format.

Canadian securities filings are required to be posted to SEDAR and SEDI. The two sites are the Canadian equivalent of the (much better) United States service run by the SEC called EDGAR.

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LinkedIn Group for Decentralized Application Professionals

"Decentralized Applications" is a LinkedIn group (link) for anyone who's a part of the nascent decentralized application industry.

It's a small group for now but some good content (mostly written by Decentral, one of my clients). There aren't a lot of other places to find good information about decentralized applications ("DApps").

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Ether Sale: Congratulations Everyone

Ethereum, a blockchain programming platform (and client of mine), has started selling ether. As of Wednesday night they've sold around $3.7 million of ether in about 24 hours. You can watch the progress of the sale by looking at the address where they're receiving the Bitcoin.

Congratulations to the Ethereum team!

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How Dell, Expedia and NewEgg Accept Bitcoin

Dell recently announced that they're accepting Bitcoin. Here's a blog post I wrote for the Decentral blog about how companies like Dell and Expedia are accepting Bitcoin:

The short version is that most companies are using Coinbase (US-only) or BitPay. Both of these services work well with Shopfiy.

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New Federal Bitcoin Law

Bill C-31 passed last Thursday and with it comes new rules for businesses dealing in Bitcoin.

I've written a guest post on the Decentral blog that explains what the new rules are, when they'll take effect and what might happen:

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The Point of Contracts

Business contracts have two purposes:

1. creating a legal agreement; and,

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Huge Win for Internet Privacy in Canada: R. v. Spencer

A landmark Supreme Court decision came down last Friday: R. v. Spencer.

This case takes Canada away from the past regime where police could request subscriber information corresponding to an IP without a warrant. In earlier lower court decisions judges have relied on ISP terms of service to say that users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The legal theory was that the contracts users enter into allowed ISPs to disclose information to police so it was permitted. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected this regime and declared such searches "presumptively unreasonable":

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Government Funding for Tech Businesses

In a previous post I outlined the key government tax schemes for Ontario tech businesses (here). A colleague who saw that post has pointed me to the MaRS Discovery District guide to funding programs.

The MaRS guide is 173 pages of government programs for the ICT sector. It looks quite comprehensive.

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Heat Map Generator

I've made an online heat map generator that you can use by clicking here. Below is an example heat map made with the tool.

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BitPay (Stripe for Bitcoin): $1m+ Daily Volume

BitPay (a less feature-rich Stripe for Bitcoin) claims to be processing more than $1 million USD in transactions per day.

It's hard to get a sense of how large the world of Bitcoin is, and especially hard to get a handle on the amount used for commerce vs. speculation. BitPay is one of the main merchant processing companies so this statistic is one worth paying attention to.

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Cheat Sheet: Ontario Tax Credits & Deductions for Tech Companies

What tax credits are available for software companies in Ontario?

SR&ED: 35% tax credit for Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC) conducting research. Infographic explanation:

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There are hundreds more blog posts to read, going back to 2013:
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