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Full-Text Articles in Law

Taxing Bitcoin And Blockchains—What The Irs Told Us (And What It Didn’T), David J. Shakow Jan 2020

Taxing Bitcoin And Blockchains—What The Irs Told Us (And What It Didn’T), David J. Shakow

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The IRS recently issued its second description of how it will treat Bitcoin and other blockchain assets. Some of its analysis leaves open questions that invite further consideration, and important issues remain unresolved. Moreover, because the popular Bitcoin blockchain uses a "proof of work" consensus procedure, issues relating to the alternative "proof of stake" procedure have been neglected.


Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman Jan 2020

Transactional Scripts In Contract Stacks, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman

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Deals accomplished through software persistently residing on computer networks—sometimes called smart contracts, but better termed transactional scripts—embody a potentially revolutionary contracting innovation. Ours is the first precise account in the legal literature of how such scripts are created, and when they produce errors of legal significance.

Scripts’ most celebrated use case is for transactions operating exclusively on public, permissionless, blockchains: such exchanges eliminate the need for trusted intermediaries and seem to permit parties to commit ex ante to automated performance. But public transactional scripts are costly both to develop and execute, with significant fees imposed for data storage. Worse, bugs …


Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Mar 2019

Intermediated Securities Holding Systems Revisited: A View Through The Prism Of Transparency, Thomas Keijser, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

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This chapter explains several benefits of adopting transparent information technology systems for intermediated securities holding infrastructures. Such transparent systems could ameliorate various prevailing problems that confront existing tiered, intermediated holding systems, including those related to corporate actions (dividends, voting), claims against issuers and upper-tier intermediaries, loss sharing and set-off in insolvency proceedings, money laundering and terrorist financing, and privacy, data protection, and confidentiality. Moreover, transparent systems could improve the functions of intermediated holding systems even without changes in laws or regulations. They also could provide a catalyst for law reform and a roadmap for substantive content of reforms. Among potential …


Coin-Operated Capitalism, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman, Jeremy Sklaroff, David A. Wishnick Jan 2019

Coin-Operated Capitalism, Shaanan Cohney, David A. Hoffman, Jeremy Sklaroff, David A. Wishnick

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This Article presents the legal literature’s first detailed analysis of the inner workings of Initial Coin Offerings. We characterize the ICO as an example of financial innovation, placing it in kinship with venture capital contracting, asset securitization, and (obviously) the IPO. We also take the form seriously as an example of technological innovation, where promoters are beginning to effectuate their promises to investors through computer code, rather than traditional contract. To understand the dynamics of this shift, we first collect contracts, “white papers,” and other contract-like documents for the fifty top-grossing ICOs of 2017. We then analyze how such projects’ …


The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow Aug 2018

The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow

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In this report, Shakow explains how a decentralized autonomous organization functions and interacts with the U.S. tax system and presents the many tax issues that these structures raise. The possibility of using smart contracts to allow an entity to operate totally autonomously on a blockchain platform seems attractive. However, little thought has been given to how such an entity can comply with the requirements of a tax system. The DAO, the first major attempt to create such an organization, failed because of a programming error. If successful examples proliferate in the future, tax authorities will face significant problems in getting …