Failing To Consult With A Blockchain Lawyer Could Cost You Everything 0

blockchain lawyer ICO consultations A startup that didn’t invest in a pre-ICO legal consultation decided to shut down after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) called with some questions. The incident serves as a reminder that startups should consult a blockchain lawyer before an ICO.

Protostarr’s Busted Initial Coin Offering

A dApp (decentralized application), Protostarr’s creators envisioned a fan-funding platform for artists, online celebrities, and aspiring professional gamers. According to the startup, the plan was to “give a new generation of unsponsored artists the ability to fund their operations while providing fans the content they are looking for and the opportunity to profit based on their success.”

Protostarr Launches an ICO; SEC Takes Notice

On August 13th, Protostarr launched an initial coin offering and raised 120 ETH (about US $47,000, at the time). On August 24th, the Securities and Exchange Commission contacted Protostarr.

Joshua Gilson, Protostarr’s chief executive, explained:

“[The SEC investigators] called and asked for me to volunteer a bunch of information about the company. They gave me a quick little brief: They’re both federal investigators, anything I say has to be truthful or honest, I could be prosecuted for providing false information — a bunch of stuff like that, so immediately, I said, I would like to be open with you guys but this is sounding like an ‘I should get a lawyer’ kind of conversation.”

Protostarr Abandoned ICO and Refunded Investors After SEC Inquiry. Why?

After consulting “multiple lawyers,” Protostarr pulled the plug on its ICO and remitted full refunds, explaining to investors that it did “not have the necessary resources” to deal with an SEC investigation.

Was there a silver lining to the Protostarr ICO? Gilson wrote:

At least ETH is worth more now than it was during the campaign so everyone is getting more value back than they donated. […] We are losing all the money we put into this, but want to make sure our supporters are taken care of.”

Before You Launch an ICO, Consult With A Blockchain Lawyer

When asked about the situation, Gilson lamented:

“We’re just a couple guys who are tech nerds in our basement. It didn’t occur to us that the model everyone else in the world is using would have any specific laws here that would apply to us. We just weren’t aware. In the month leading up to it, we were going full bore, working till 2am every night on the ICO, so we didn’t even see the DAO ruling when it came out until someone brought it to our attention.”

Protostarr’s story is like so many others. In startup development stage, the focus is pathologically on the project — and sometimes, legal considerations get tossed aside and forgotten about. Protostarr’s story should serve as a cautionary one — a reminder that finding a blockchain lawyer, who can advise on compliance issues, should be a top priority — even before launch.

Connect With A Blockchain Lawyer

Are you in the pre-launch stage of a startup? Want to make sure your legal ducks are in a row before your ICO? If so, we can take that off your plate and handle it. Get in touch today to begin the conversation.

 

 

The post Failing To Consult With A Blockchain Lawyer Could Cost You Everything appeared first on Kelly / Warner Law | Defamation Law, Internet Law, Business Law.


Source: Kelly Warner Law

Listen to MozPod, the Free SEO Podcast from Moz 0

Posted by BrianChilds

We’re marketers. We know from firsthand experience that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to get done. And that’s even more true once you commit to leveling up and learning new skills.

The learning curve for developing digital marketing skills can be steep, and staying informed as things evolve and change (thanks, Google) can feel like a full-time job. Our Moz Training has classes to help accelerate the learning process, but as startup folks ourselves, we understand the importance of multitasking.

Learn SEO on the go

We’re thrilled to introduce MozPod, an SEO podcast focused on sharing lessons from digital marketing experts. Episodes are led by instructors from Moz Academy and we discuss a wide variety of digital marketing concepts, from common terminology to recent changes and best practices.

Check it out on iTunes

Where can I listen in?


Upcoming episodes

Our first series covers conversion rate optimization, PageRank, and link building:

Ep. 1: The Science of Crawling and Indexing

Guest: Neil Martinsen-Burrell of Moz

Dr. Neil Martinsen-Burrell shares his perspective as a statistician on the development of Page Authority and Domain Authority. Great data and interesting stats.

Ep. 2: What’s a Good Conversion Rate?

Guest: Carl Schmidt of Unbounce

Carl discusses the Unbounce Conversion Rate Benchmark Report and what SEOs can learn from an analysis of over 74 million landing page visitors. Great for content writers.

Ep. 3: Link Building Fundamentals

Guest: The PageOnePower team

MozPod interviews PageOnePower about how search engines place value on links. Collin, Cody, and Nicholas share the personal wisdom they’ve gained from working at a link building company.


Want to be a guest on MozPod?

If you’d like to share your recent SEO analysis or have a topic you think MozPod listeners would find valuable, please send us your ideas! MozPod is a place for our community of SEOs and digital marketers to learn. We’d love to hear from you.

Simply fill out this form to share your idea: Be on MozPod


Give it a listen and let us know what topics you’d like to hear about in the comments!

Listen to MozPod on iTunes

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Source: Moz

Yes, Competitors Can Edit Your Listing on Google My Business 0

Posted by JoyHawkins

I decided to write this article in response to a recent article that was published over at CBSDFW. The article was one of many stories about how spammers update legitimate information on Google as a way to send more leads somewhere else. This might shock some readers, but it was old news to me since spam of this nature on Google Maps has been a problem for almost a decade.

What sparked my interest in this article was Google’s response. Google stated:

Merchants who manage their business listing info through Google My Business (which is free to use), are notified via email when edits are suggested. Spammers and others with negative intent are a problem for consumers, businesses, and technology companies that provide local business information. We use automated systems to detect for spam and fraud, but we tend not to share details behind our processes so as not to tip off spammers or others with bad intent.

Someone might read that and feel safe, believing that they have nothing to worry about. However, some of us who have been in this space for a long time know that there are several incorrect and misleading statements in that paragraph. I’m going to point them out below.


“Merchants are notified by email”

  1. Google just started notifying users by email last month. Their statement makes it sound like this has been going on for ages. Before September 2017, there were no emails going to people about edits made to their listings.
  2. Not everyone gets an email about edits that have been made. To test this, I had several people submit an update to a listing I own to change the phone number. When the edit went live, the Google account that was the primary owner on the listing got an email; the Google account that was a manager on the listing did not.

Similarly, I am a manager on over 50 listings and 7 of them currently show as having updates in the Google My Business dashboard. I haven’t received a single email since they launched this feature a month ago.

“Notified […] when edits are suggested”

Merchants are not notified when edits are “suggested.” Any time I’ve ever heard of an email notification in the last month, it went out after the edit was already live.

Here’s a recent case on the Google My Business forum. This business owner got an email when his name was updated because the edit was already live. He currently has a pending edit on his listing to change the hours of operation. Clearly this guy is on top of things, so why hasn’t he denied it? Because he wouldn’t even know about it since it’s pending.

The edit isn’t live yet, so he’s not receiving a notification — either by email or inside the Google My Business dashboard.

Edits show up in the Google My Business dashboard as “Updates from Google.” Many people think that if they don’t “accept” these edits in the Google My Business dashboard, the edits won’t go live. The reality is that by “accepting” them, you’re just confirming something that’s already live on Google. If you “don’t accept,” you actually need to edit the listing to revert it back (there is no “deny” button).

Here’s another current example of a listing I manage inside Google My Business. The dashboard doesn’t show any updates to the website field, yet there’s a pending edit that I can see on the Google Maps app. A user has suggested that the proper website is a different page on the website than what I currently have. The only way to see all types of pending edits is via Check the Facts on Google Maps. No business owner I’ve ever spoken to has any clue what this is, so I think it’s safe to say they wouldn’t be checking there.

Here’s how I would edit that original response from Google to make it more factually correct:

Merchants who manage their business listing info through Google My Business (which is free to use) are notified when edits made by others are published on Google. Sometimes they are notified by email and the updates are also shown inside the Google My Business dashboard. Google allows users (other than the business owner) to make edits to listings on Google, but the edits are reviewed by either automated systems or, in some cases, actual human beings. Although the system isn’t perfect, Google is continually making efforts to keep the map free from spam and malicious editing.


Do you manage listings that have been edited by competitors? What’s your experience been? Share your story in the comments below!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Source: Moz

Are Exchanges Legally Allowed To Reverse Coin Transactions? 0

reverse coin transactionsMonths ago, a Quoine (also Quoinex) system glitch triggered an erroneous 3,085 bitcoin transfer. Ultimately, the exchange reversed the transaction. In response, the beneficiary sued.

A possible landmark cryptocurrency case, the presiding court may be forced to consider a still unanswered legal question:  Is it legal for exchanges to reverse coin transactions?

The Glitch That Triggered A Multi-Million-Dollar “Erroneous” Bitcoin Transfer

In mid-April, Quoine ran a hack-prevention script. Unfortunately, the protective program triggered a glitch that artificially lowered Bitcoin’s price on its system. Because of the snafu, Quoine user B2C2  was able to purchase ten bitcoins for one ETH. So, he grabbed 3,085 bitcoins, which calculated to US $3.78 million, at the time.

Quoine discovered the out-size exchange and reversed the trade.

B2C2’s Argument: Fraud

B2C2 sued on the grounds that Quoine “acted fraudulently.”

To make matters more (legally) interesting, Quoine’s trading agreement says orders are irreversible — a cornerstone of B2C2’s case. And since the exchange did reverse the trade, the market maker believes Quoine made a tortious misstep by violating its own agreement.

Quoine’s Argument: Obvious Mistake

Quoine, as you may have already guessed, doesn’t think B2C2 has a solid case. It’s primary counter argument? The plaintiff is “being opportunistic and seeking to profit from a technical glitch.”

Who Will Probably Win This Bitcoin Lawsuit?

Who will win? It’s way too early to tell; arguments and evidence have yet to be presented. But if we were to guess, the enforceability of Quoine’s trading agreement, in this scenario, will likely be a crux of the case.

The “Quoine reversal” decision could be a game-changer. Irreversibility is a large part of blockchain’s allure. If exchanges start executing reversals on their own, with global support from courts, the philosophical and technical standards debate will rage, elusively, on.

Connect With A Blockchain Lawyer

Kelly / Warner works with established businesses and startups on blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech law matters. Whether you need someone to review an ICO or challenge an opponent in court, we’ll guide you through the process.

Let’s start the conversation.

Article Sources

Helms, K. (2017, August 01). Exchange Sued for 3085 Bitcoins After Reversing Bitcoin-Ether Trades. Retrieved October 04, 2017, from https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-exchange-sued-bitcoins-reversing-bitcoin-ether-trades/

The post Are Exchanges Legally Allowed To Reverse Coin Transactions? appeared first on Kelly / Warner Law | Defamation Law, Internet Law, Business Law.


Source: Kelly Warner Law

Check Out These ATX Eats 0

Head over to our customers before or after Austin City Limits!

Looking for some guidance on where to eat and drink during Austin City Limits this year? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of some of our local bar and restaurant customers here in Austin to make sure that no matter where you are, you can eat local and love local.

https://medium.com/media/ee689b7fb6c97abe865cb8bbcef5dc05/href

Take a look below and decide where you’ll be making your first ACL pit stop:


Food: No/Full Bar: Yes

The 04 Lounge

3808 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Anyone hoping to catch a game before their favorite set will want to squad up here at The 04 Lounge. This dive-meets-sports bar is the definition of local and has an extensive menu of reasonably-priced beer and cocktails. Shoot some pool, play some pinball, and unwind during the festival in this laid back spot.


Food:No/Full Bar: Yes

Cheer Up Charlie’s

900 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

Not done dancing after you’ve danced the day away at the fest? Cheer Up Charlie’s is for you. This LGBTQ-friendly, vegan bar is as delightfully eclectic as it sounds. From fresh-squeezed juice cocktails to kombucha on tap, you’ll find something delicious to sip on while you take in the colorful decor, lively music, and vibrant staff. Stop into Cheer Up Charlie’s, and you’ll find the perfect place to Keep Austin Weird.


Food: No/Full Bar: Yes

HandleBar

121 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

If you’re looking for a place to wet your ‘stache in the heart of downtown, HandleBar is the place. You’ll love the old school vibe, craft cocktails, local beer, and mustachioed decor in this indoor/outdoor bar. Stop by to enjoy the rooftop deck, a photo booth, and giant TVs playing every game imaginable while you have a drink. Consider checking in for their Happy Hour from 3–8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as all-day Happy Hour on Sunday!


Food: No/Full Bar: Yes

Hangar Lounge

318 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701

If you’re headed to ATX for ACL, you’ll be flying high at Hangar Lounge, a mid-century airport-inspired lounge. Choose your destination — the rooftop deck with a bar and view, the cozy Admirals’ Club on the second floor, or the booming bar on street level. The fasten seatbelt sign has been turned off, so get up, and head to Hangar!


Food: Yes/Full Bar: Yes

Maiko Sushi Lounge

311 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Traditional fare meets contemporary vibes in this downtown sushi hot spot. Eastern and Western cultures collide to provide a fresh take on the classics. Happy Hour is seven days a week and you might catch a special guest from time to time — especially during ACL! Maiko is fresh, hip, and full of surprises, much like South by itself. Roll on over to see for yourself!

East Austin


Food: Yes/Full Bar: Yes

Nasha India

1614 East 7th Street, Austin, TX 78702

In Hindi, Nasha means “to crave,” and trust us — once you’ve tried the Indian fusion tacos and curried margaritas at this East Side restaurant, you’ll be craving more. While Nasha serves all the Indian hits, such as Tikka Masala and Vindaloo, they’ve also added some new-wave inventions to the menu, like Paneer Quesadillas and Tandoori Tacos. See you at Nasha on the East Side!

Rainey


Food: Yes/Full Bar: Yes

El Naranjo

85 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

For the gourmet festival-goers, there is El Naranjo. Upscale, traditional Oaxacan Mexican fare, house-made tortillas, indoor and outdoor bar options, and attentive, friendly service await you in this cozy spot on Rainey Street. Whether you indulge in a luxurious brunch or simply stop in for one of their top-shelf margaritas, you’ll want to see what this gem has to offer.

Windsor Park


Food: Yes/Full Bar: Yes

Nomad Bar

1213 Corona Dr, Austin, TX 78723

Comfortably tucked away in the Windsor Park neighborhood, Nomad Bar, a world travel-themed watering hole has won Austin Chronicle’s Best Neighborhood/Dive Bar not once, but three times! From the patio and live music to the tasty drinks and pizza, this is one of Austin’s signature hangouts.

North Austin


Food: Yes/Full Bar: No

The Pit Barbecue

4707 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

What The Pit Barbecue lacks in contemporary decor, it makes up for with fall-off-the-bone ribs, hearty sides, and Southern hospitality. At The Pit, they pile your plate high and serve it with a smile. You’ll want to save some room for their classic Banana Pudding, but that’s easier said than done. Venture outside of downtown and treat yourself to this ‘cue.

We hope you enjoy these local spots! Let us know if you visit any of our customers while you’re here for SXSW — post on our Facebook wall, tweet us on Twitter, tag us on Instagram, or message us on LinkedIn!



Check Out These ATX Eats was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub