Law of Code
By Jacob Robinson
The Law of Code podcast focuses on the legal framework being built around blockchains, crypto, NFTs, and DAOs. We’ll look at crypto regulations, rights surrounding NFTs, as well as the legislation impacting blockchain.
You’ll hear from the top lawyers, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs in the space – we’ll touch on best practices countries are implementing, new regulations, and share ideas on the best path forward.
You’ll hear from the top lawyers, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs in the space – we’ll touch on best practices countries are implementing, new regulations, and share ideas on the best path forward.
#23 - Addison Cameron-Huff: Attracting impressive clients, saying no, and everything you should know about building a law firm of one.
Addison Cameron-Huff (@aCameronhuff) has been practicing in the blockchain space since 2014. Addison has managed a blockchain wallet company, built dev teams, provided legal advice to founders of Ethereum, taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and was one of the first Canadian lawyers to work in blockchain. Show highlights: [3:15] - Why he received a call from a co-founder of Ethereum in 2014 [4:42] - Starting a crypto-law firm: What the first few months looked like [7:35] - Building momentum for your legal practice (including what not to do) and the importance of writing long-form articles [10:55] - Imposter syndrome in the legal industry [13:12] - When/How to say “I don’t know” when given a request you are unsure how to address [16:45] - How to stay abreast of fast-moving crypto developments (as well as the slower-moving legal side) [17:55] - The importance of understanding clients as you build your understanding of the law [18:44] - Why Addison chose to start his own firm instead of joining BigLaw [22:00] - The benefits of not scaling your law firm [25:45] - What early entrepreneurial experiences can offer as life lessons [31:00] - How Addison’s legal practice changed since 2014 [36:30] - The benefits of staying in the legal profession [39:00] - The first stablecoin in Canada [44:30] - The process associated with novel legal work (Canadian stablecoin) [48:30] - Twitter and American Law (from a Canadian’s perspective) [54:00] - DAOs over the next five years Thanks for listening!
January 17, 2022
#22 - Jacob Martin: Becoming @theNFTattorney, buying a crypto punk and building a crypto-focused firm after law school.
Jacob Martin (@thenftattorney) is an attorney based in Southern California, founder of JTM Tech Law, and General Partner at 2 Punks Capital. While in law school, Jacob founded a legal tech startup focused on "tying Testamentary documents to the blockchain." Today, as Founder of JTM Tech Law, he consults & advises NFT artists & collectors, DAOs, auction houses, entertainment & tech companies on all things crypto, blockchain, & NFT. Show highlights: - His introduction to Bitcoin and NFTs - Buying a Cryptopunk - Becoming the "NFT Attorney" & starting a crypto-focused practice - Learning the law as a sole practitioner - How Jacob produced the NFT Tax Guide - Why he's still a lawyer & much more.
January 10, 2022
#21 - Michael Bacina: Australia's approach to crypto, playing offence in your career and how America's crypto policies impact the globe.
Michael Bacina (@MikeBacina) is a Partner at Piper Alderman in Sydney, Australia. Michael advises companies at the intersection of cutting edge technology, automation and innovation. Michael regularly publishes on Blockchain and technology matters. He has been ranked Band 1 in FinTech by the prestigious Chambers & Partners in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and serves on the Board of Blockchain Australia and the Board of the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce. Show highlights: - Michael's blockchain-based practice at Piper Alderman - Building one of the best blockchain-focused legal practices in Australia - Recent Australian Government paper on virtual assets "We've never seen so many companies asking to be regulated" - The benefits of a background in computer programming - Michael's blog about blockchain law - Working with the Australian Government on crypto regulation - What makes a great lawyer - How to get a job in crypto law & much more.
January 03, 2022
#20 - Ari Redbord & Drew Morris: TRM Labs, VASPs, FATF and government vs private practice.
TRM Labs delivers cryptocurrency fraud detection and anti-money laundering (AML) solutions to financial institutions and governments worldwide. Ari Redbord (@ARedbord) is Head of Legal & Government Affairs at TRM. Prior to joining TRM, Ari served at the United States Department of the Treasury as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary and the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). In this capacity, Ari worked with teams from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and other Treasury and interagency components on issues related to cryptocurrency, sanctions, the Bank Secrecy Act, and anti-money laundering strategies. Drew Morris (@Drew_Morris) is Legal Counsel at TRM. Prior to TRM, Drew was General Counsel at WorkJam and an Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati LLP. Show highlights: - Ari's introduction to crypto through experience with North Korea - Why TRM Labs is an important part of the crypto ecosystem - TRM Talks - Comparing the startup environment with work as a prosecutor - What they both learned in previous roles - FATF’s final version of its Updated Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Providers - VASP - What makes a top calibre lawyer - How to network in the legal profession & much more.
December 27, 2021
#19 - Becoming a Crypto Lawyer: How to capitalize on your crypto-law interest, with Jake Chervinsky, Rebecca Rettig and Sarah Shtylman
Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) is involved in all aspects of the crypto ecosystem & has a strong understanding of the regulatory space surrounding crypto. Jake is Head of Policy at the Blockchain Association and Advisor for the Variant Fund, and former General Counsel for Compound Labs. Rebecca Rettig (@RebeccaRettig1) is the General Counsel of the Aave Companies, a group of software development companies in Europe that build open source, blockchain-based software. Rebecca began her legal career at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, litigating complex commercial disputes; prior to joining the Aave Companies, Rebecca was a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP in the financial services group, representing blockchain and crypto clients. Sarah (Hody) Shtylman (@SHodyEsq) is a Partner at Perkins Coie, where she advises innovators in the fintech and blockchain industries, and her clients range from entrepreneurs and startups to big tech and regulated financial institutions. Sarah’s background includes serving as in-house regulatory counsel at Coinbase (2nd lawyer hired), Levine & Associates (a litigation boutique), and Hody Esq., as a Sole Proprietor. This episode answers the question: What should I do if I want to become a crypto lawyer? While focused on crypto, the principles can be applied to any legal area. This was such a fun episode to record, as each guest offers incredible insights. Show highlights: - How Rebecca built a practice in crypto [3:30] - What helped Rebecca establish a crypto arbitration practice [7:45] - Sarah’s introduction to crypto [9:00] - Being the second lawyer at Coinbase [14:00] - Jake’s crypto law journey [16:00] - What law students should get on their resume to get roles in crypto [21:00] - How to determine which area of law to tie crypto into [34:00] - Finding an area of law in which to specialize [37:00] - Dealing with the pressure to specialize [41:00] “Recognizing when you hit diminishing returns in your job, and when it’s time to move on” - Jake - Imposter syndrome in the legal industry [44:00] - Do crypto lawyers need to learn to code? [49:00] - One important piece of advice for professionals beginning their careers [63:00] “Come join the revolution with us” - Rebecca Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the podcast, please share and review. You can follow me, Jacob Robinson, on Twitter @jacobrobinsonjd. For the latest updates from Law of Code - subscribe to our newsletter.
December 20, 2021
#18 - Gabriel Shapiro & Sarah Brennan: Decentralization, governance structures, LeXPunk, updating the VC model and DAOs.
Gabe and Sarah are experts on all things crypto and some of my brightest minds in the space. If you’re at all interested in Web3, you must follow both. Gabriel Shapiro (@lex_node) is General Counsel at Delphi Labs. Gabe was previously a Partner at Belcher, Smolen & Van Loo LLP, where he was a corporate attorney for builders of DeFi, DAOs, blockchain & other decentralization technologies. Sarah (Lord) Brennan (@SH_Brennan) is a corporate and securities attorney with over a decade of experience and a strong interest in technology who is passionate about helping companies grow and scale. Sarah is General Counsel at Delphi Ventures. Prior to joining Delphi, Sarah was Head of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP's Digital Assets and Disruptive Tech Practice and is a former Partner at Lippes Mathias LLP. Show highlights - Problems Gabe and Sarah see with the regulatory approach to crypto and viable paths forward - Competing philosophies around tokens – essentialism vs functionalism - What are tokens, legally? What should they be - What is decentralization legally, why is it important and how could this change in the future? - Governance structures, what does good governance mean, what are the common theories and opportunities, best practices - LeXPunk – 2-min intro to LexPunk + Builder Defense DAO, plans, visions, values - Updating the Venture Model for DeFi: problems & solutions - What aspect of crypto-law are Gabe and Sarah most interested in seeing develop and why & much more
December 13, 2021
#17 - Jason Gottlieb: Lawyers & DAOs, MoCo crypto-litigation tracker, Indexed Juris, NFTs & more.
Jason Gottlieb (@ohaiom) is a Partner in Morrison Cohen LLP’s Business Litigation Department, and Chair of the White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement practice group. Jason is the principal author of the MoCo Cryptocurrency Litigation Tracker and was named to the National Law Journal‘s inaugural list of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazers. Jason regularly advises U.S. and foreign companies on blockchain and cryptocurrency law relating to litigation and regulatory risk issues and has been widely published and quoted in the media for his cryptocurrency and blockchain expertise. Show highlights - Jason's introduction to crypto - Working at a Japanese Internet Service Provider in Tokyo - Building expertise in crypto-law - Kleiman v. Wright - Cryptocurrency litigation tracker - Indexed Finance Hack: ~$16m of tokens were stolen - Working with DAOs (50 min-mark) - NFTs & much more.
November 29, 2021
#16 - Sina Kian, VP of Strategy at Aleo: A16Z backed startup, Zero-Knowledge Proofs, and why "find your passion" is the wrong advice.
Sina Kian (@SinaKian1) is Vice President of Strategy at Aleo, a company that is building a decentralized blockchain with significantly enhanced data security and privacy capabilities. He is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU Law School, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Sina received his BA in History at the University of Virginia, and his JD from Stanford Law School. After law school, Sina clerked for Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., on the Supreme Court. Sina practiced law at WilmerHale, later transitioning to an investing role, working as a Vice President at Blackstone, and then to Kennedy Lewis. Show highlights: - His current role at Aleo (aleo.org) - What is Aleo? What problem does this a16z backed startup solve? - Clerking for Justice Roberts on the Supreme Court - Why transition out of law? - Zero-Knowledge Proofs - Targeting Developers - Finding the perfect mentor & much more. Sina is brilliant and this interview is packed with interesting takeaways.
November 22, 2021
#15 - Drew Hinkes: Rug pulls, preventing the loss of private keys, United States v. Van Buren, and "not your legal title, not your coins"
Nominated as one of Coindesk’s Most Influential People in Blockchain in 2017, Andrew “Drew” Hinkes (@propelforward) is a Partner with K&L Gates, working as part of its National Blockchain and Digital Currency practice. Drew was appointed as an Adjunct Professor by the NYU Stern Business School and the NYU School of Law, where he co-teaches “Digital Currency, Blockchains, and the Future of the Financial Services Industry.” Drew is also the co-founder and General Counsel of Athena Blockchain, a professional services firm focused on tokenized investment products. Show highlights: Drew's blockchain story His legal practice Cryptolaw at NYU Stern His 2019 paper: Throw away the key, or the key holder? Coercive contempt for lost or forgotten cryptocurrency private keys, or obstinate holders. How courts best prevent the "loss" of private keys 5th amendment response to private key requests Liens against identifiable cryptoassets Rug pulls United States v. Van Buren Time management Legal title and digital assets Drew was a fantastic guest and the episode is a great peek into the mind of one of the best crypto lawyers. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate a review!
November 15, 2021
#14 - Hailey Lennon: Bitcoin stories, CryptoConnect, public speaking and building a legal practice in Crypto
Hailey Lennon (@HaileyLennonBTC) is one of the most well-known lawyers in crypto law. Hailey is a shareholder in Anderson Kill’s Technology, Media and Distributed Systems Group. She is based in California and affiliated with Anderson Kill’s Los Angeles office. Hailey previously spent time as regulatory counsel for various companies in the crypto space, including Coinbase, bitFlyer, and Silvergate Bank. She frequently speaks at major conferences about the laws surrounding cryptocurrencies. Show highlights: - When Hailey was introduced to Bitcoin - Her journey from Law School to Crypto Lawyer - Playing offense in your career - Scaling BSA/AML Programs - Stablecoins & the Biden Administration - CryptoConnect - NFTs - How to improve your public speaking ability You can learn more about Hailey here and follow her on Twitter. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
November 08, 2021
#13 - Evan Thomas: WealthSimple Crypto, going "all-in" on crypto, working with regulators & becoming a great lawyer.
Evan Thomas (@evanmthomas) is Head of Legal at WealthSimple Crypto, a platform launched by WealthSimple as the first regulated crypto exchange in Canada. Prior to joining Wealthsimple, Evan spent nearly 15 years as a litigator with Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where he focused on cases involving technology and data. Before his legal career, Evan worked as a software developer and systems/network administrator. Show highlights: - Evan's genesis block - Why Evan left Big Law for crypto - Advice for lawyers considering going "all-in" in crypto - How regulators can work with crypto exchanges to balance innovation with consumer protection - Coinbase Lend - NFTs - Time management as a lawyer - What makes a great lawyer You can find Evan on Twitter @evanmthomas. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate a review!
November 01, 2021
#12 - Collins Belton (Part 2): NFTs, rug pulls, fiduciary duty, Twitter habits and routines & what's next for Collins.
Collins Belton (@collins_belton) is one of the brightest minds in crypto law. Collins is the founder and Managing Partner of Brookwood P.C., a boutique transactional practice focused on serving founders, startups and emerging technology companies working on frontier technology, particularly in the digital asset space. Show highlights: - NFTs: Dutch auctions vs Vickrey auctions - Collins Coin? - Equity in exchange for legal advice - Fiduciary responsibility in NFTs - Gaining crypto experience as a young lawyer - What's next for Collins? - What makes a great lawyer - Anime, cooking, and other hobbies. Collins was so great that we’ve turned the interview into two parts. You can listen to the first part here. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate a review!
October 25, 2021
#11 - Collins Belton (Part 1): Gary Gensler, Coinbase Lend, the Howey Test & the biggest legal problems facing crypto.
Collins Belton (@collins_belton) is one of the brightest minds in crypto law. Collins is the founder and Managing Partner of Brookwood P.C., a boutique transactional practice focused on serving founders, startups and emerging technology companies working on frontier technology, particularly in the digital asset space. Show highlights: - When Collins was introduced to blockchain technology - Why Collins founded Brookwood PC - Coinbase Lend - The Howey Test & investment contracts - Gary Gensler reframing the DeFi narrative - What Collins would do as head of the SEC - The biggest legal problems in crypto today Collins was so great that we’ve turned the interview into two parts. Check out our next episode to hear how Collins stays on top of all things crypto, his favorite NFTs, and what's next for Collins after he "retired" from private practice. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate a review!
October 18, 2021
#10 - Eric Richmond, COO at Coinsquare: Holding crypto for institutional clients, becoming a great crypto lawyer, and what's next for crypto lawyers.
Eric Richmond, COO at Coinsquare (formerly VP of Legal) and CEO at Tetra Trust, has extensive experience working with and advising startups and blockchain companies. Eric has extensive knowledge of the principles, applications, and current developments affecting blockchains. This interview is an excellent discussion on holding cryptocurrency for large clients, defining crypto as a security, and how to become a great crypto lawyer. Show highlights: - How Eric built a crypto practice as a young lawyer - Transitioning from private practice to in-house at a crypto exchange - Coinsquare & Tetra Trust - Working with Government actors - Applying current laws to DeFi - Crypto's "Cannabis" moment - What makes a great lawyer? You can learn more about Tetra Trust here and follow Eric on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate if you leave a review!
October 11, 2021
#9 - Matthew Burgoyne: Building a legal career in crypto, securities laws and Bitcoin, securing your first crypto client, and what makes a great lawyer.
Matthew "Bitcoin" Burgoyne is a Partner at McLeod Law LLP, in Calgary, Canada. Matthew's legal practice involves securities and capital markets, with a focus on blockchain-based digital assets. He has been advising companies in the cryptocurrency space since the summer of 2013, making him one of the first Canadian lawyers to act for cryptocurrency companies in Canada. Matthew was an integral part of McLeod Law’s efforts to accept bitcoin as payment for legal services in the fall of 2013, making McLeod Law the first full-service law firm in Canada to accept bitcoin. His clients in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space include cryptocurrency exchange platforms, cryptocurrency wallet developers, issuers of digital currency (including stablecoins and NFTs), cryptocurrency miners, and cryptocurrency investment funds. Show highlights: - How Matthew first learned of blockchain technology in 2013 - Why he built a legal career with a cryptocurrency focus - How Matthew got his first crypto exchange client - Why crypto startups should bring in outside counsel early - What makes a great lawyer - The importance of publishing articles as a young lawyer You can view Matthew's profile here or follow him on Twitter (@burgoynematt). Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
October 04, 2021
#8 - Geoff Costeloe: Digital estate planning, tax considerations for holders of crypto and NFTs, and the future of smart contract estate planning
Geoff Costeloe is a lawyer and entrepreneur at Lindsey MacCarthy LLP, in Vancouver, Canada. Geoff’s legal practice revolves around estate planning and administration, with a focus on digital assets. Geoff knows crypto inside-out, and this episode is a deep dive into why estate lawyers are so important for holders of crypto and NFTs. We also touched on how blockchain technology will shape the estate planning profession over the next 5-10 years. Geoff was a great guest, is building a one-of-a-kind legal practice, and I’m grateful he took the time to speak with me. Show highlights: - Why it's never too early to begin estate planning - Tax implications of buying/selling digital assets - Why lawyers should join LexDAO - What regulators can do to ensure a thriving crypto economy - Smart contracts and the future of estate planning - Why individuals should work with a lawyer who understands blockchain technology You can find Geoff on Twitter (@gcosteloe), where he talks crypto, estate law, and even some Canadian politics. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
September 27, 2021
#7 - Any Obando: NFTs, NBA Top-Shots, intellectual property law, and enforcing copyright law in a digital world.
Any Obando, Associate at Cozen O'Connor, practices intellectual property law and has a great understanding of NFTs. In this episode, Any explains what NFTs are, what businesses will benefit from NFTs, IP associated with NBA Top Shots, and what legal rights NFT holders are entitled to. This interview is an excellent primer on the laws surrounding NFTs, as Any is very knowledgeable in this space. I recommend anyone interested in NFTs use this podcast as an all-encompassing introduction. Show highlights: - When Any first learned of blockchain technology - What is an NFT? - The novel benefits NFTs offer when compared to Web 2 digital assets - IP rights associated with NBA Top Shots - Storing NFTs in digital wallets - Legislation impacting NFTs - Advice Any wishes she knew before beginning her legal career You can view Any's profile here or follow her on LinkedIn. Here's the primer on NFTs we discussed. Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
September 20, 2021
#6 - James McCall: The LexDAO Episode
James McCall, Legal Engineer at LexDAO, is building Farmapper LLC, a platform putting agriculture online through the blockchain. James does not currently represent legal clients but has a dual major finance/accounting undergraduate degree and a JD law degree. He has experience originating and servicing a large commercial loan portfolio for various lending institutions to finance agricultural real estate. We spoke about all things LEX Dao and blockchain law. Show highlights: - Transitioning from Lawyer to Legal Engineer - How lawyers can learn to code - Why lawyers should join LexDAO - How new members can thrive in LexDAO - What projects the lawyers/engineers at LexDAO are building - Helpful habits for young professionals You can find James on Twitter (@mccallios), where he talks NFTs, DeFi, and all things crypto. You also can find LexDAO on Twitter (lex_dao) Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
September 13, 2021
#5 - Ross Campbell: Legal engineering, Bar Association DAOs, use cases for oracles, and much, much more
Ross Campbell, Legal Engineer at LexDAO and co-founder of OpenEsquire, discusses building in the legal engineering space, the best use cases for DAOs, and why he's helping build OpenEsquire. This interview is packed with takeaways, and Ross continues to amaze me with his knowledge of this space (I am out of my league - I began studying immediately after our conversation). Highly recommend any lawyer interested in blockchain technology use this podcast to learn from Ross. Show highlights: - How to avoid being "coded out of a job" - Transitioning from Big Law to Legal Engineer - Building OpenEsquire (an LLC DAO) - Forming LexDAO and working with DAOs - Why DAOs are easily attackable and best strategies for DAO consensus - The importance of private law concepts for DAOs - Why trusts should use DAOs & how Bar Associations can benefit from operating as a DAO Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you leave a review!
August 09, 2021
#4 - Erich Dylus: How Web3 can leverage off-chain data in a compliant manner
Erich Dylus, Legal Engineer at API3 DAO, discusses how API3 is building a GDPR compliant product for blockchain, along with the idea of 1st and 3rd party oracles. Show highlights: - When Erich was introduced to blockchain technology - How API3 is building compliance-focused oracle software - The EU's GDPR & international privacy regulations affecting crypto - Why learning solidity is important (Erich's github is helpful) - The legal future of DAOs - The movie of the year, Dune Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you can take a minute to leave a review!
August 04, 2021
#3 - Daniel Rollingher: Putting real estate on a blockchain
Daniel Rollingher, General Counsel at Fabrica.land, discusses how he is building a blockchain for real estate, along with the difficulties of working with jurisdictions across America. Show highlights: - When Daniel was introduced to blockchain technology - How Fabrica works to put real estate on-chain - The skills required as in-house counsel for a blockchain company - Most difficult roadblocks to gaining widespread blockchain adoption - What most people get wrong about blockchain laws - The future of real estate on the blockchain Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate it if you can take a minute to leave a review!
July 29, 2021
#2 - Dr. Muharem Kianieff: Creator of Canada's first course on blockchain law
Dr. Muharem Kianieff, Associate Professor at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, discusses the KYC and privacy laws affecting crypto, along with what the history of credit cards can teach us about the widespread adoption of crypto. Show highlights: - His introduction to blockchain technology - How crypto can adapt to satisfy privacy legislation - Which period of history is most analogous to the current state of crypto - Why, as an academic, he doesn't own any crypto - What most people get wrong about blockchain laws - The evolving crypto regulations that Professor Kianieff is keeping an eye on Thanks for listening - If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review - it would be a huge help and we'd really appreciate it!
July 26, 2021
Introduction to Law of Code
Welcome to the Law of Code podcast! Law of Code focuses on the legal frameworks surrounding blockchain technology. You’ll learn about the crypto laws, IP, and copyrights surrounding NFTs, and stay updated on the legal landscape of blockchain. While this podcast focuses on Canadian laws, we’ll look at best practices and new regulations across jurisdictions. You’ll hear from the top lawyers, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs in the space - we’ll touch on new legal strategies countries are implementing, adoption of blockchains in different industries, and share ideas on the best path forward. We’re launching the show on Wednesday, July 7th. Subscribe today to stay updated on the laws of blockchain.
July 02, 2021