Digital Assets and Blockchain

Overview

Distributed ledger technologies (DLT) including blockchain and other digital assets are rapidly reshaping the global business landscape. The transformative potential of cryptoassets is being felt across many sectors, ranging from financial services, capital markets, real estate, intellectual property, corporate transactions and much more. In addition, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are attracting increasing attention from institutional investors.

While the opportunities in this space are limitless, the inherent risks are complex and constantly changing. Whether you are a start-up; a public company; a market intermediary (including dealers and exchanges); a cryptoasset trading platform; are looking to establish a digital asset management business; are a cryptocurrency infrastructure company or technology company; or you are an institutional investor, you must navigate a fluctuating and complex set of rules and regulations. This can be particularly challenging for Canadian and non-Canadian entrants and participants alike, as the fast-paced nature of the digital asset landscape is outpacing the corresponding regulatory framework in Canada.

Having experienced legal counsel that has its fingers on the pulse of the digital asset ecosystem is crucial to navigating this evolving space. Anchored by our extensive experience in all aspects of FinTechtechnologycapital markets and taxation, lawyers in Osler’s Digital Assets and Blockchain Group advise both early stage and established companies on a wide range of legal issues relating to cryptocurrencies, blockchain-enabled capital raising, and the broad deployment of blockchain technology. The regulatory and tax treatment of cryptoassets is also evolving, and we leverage our extensive network of industry experts, participation in industry associations and positive working relationships with governmental authorities to advocate for you and guide you on how to create, trade, hold and manage cryptoassets in a manner that aligns with applicable law and current regulatory interpretations. Osler continues to have an unrivalled window and insight into developments as well as influence over policy direction and outcomes, including on significant structural change initiatives which drive regulatory approaches eventually taken by our regulators.

In particular, we advise market participants on cryptocurrency trading and mining, custody solutions, initial coin offerings, tokenized business models, cryptocurrency derivatives and related financial instruments.

Our team also advises on applications of blockchain technology designed to enrich existing technology platforms and business models through the use of DLT and trust-based collaboration. Blockchain technology has a myriad of applications across different industries, examples of which include banking settlement, foreign exchange and remittance, supply chain tracking, energy and carbon credit trading, real property registration and authentication tracking of valuable personal property. Our industry-leading expertise in structuring complex commercial relationships, intellectual property, privacy and data security enables us to provide expert advice on these applications of blockchain technology.

We also advise on risk management and resolution of disputes relating to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and blockchain-enabled transactions, which are increasing commensurate with the level of interest and investment globally. Class actions and other litigation have been commenced in multiple jurisdictions, including Canada, arising out of disputes involving cryptocurrency mining contracts, exchange failures, market suspensions/interruptions and initial coin offerings. These cases frequently raise novel and complex legal issues, given the distributed nature of blockchain technology and the market for cryptocurrencies.

As one of Canada’s leading business law firms, we have deep expertise in the core areas of law that intersect with blockchain and cryptocurrency. Osler’s multidisciplinary team of experts is well-equipped to answer your questions surrounding the legal impacts of this technology and other digital assets.

 

 

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