On Demand Audio

Introduction to Blockchain and the Law: Understanding Smart Contracts & Blockchain Technology

(224 reviews)

Produced on July 27, 2020

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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

This series of three programs are designed to be a comprehensive guide to the new practice area of blockchain law. We will examine what blockchain is, also known as distributed ledger technology (“DLT”), and how it is used within our existing and pending laws and regulations both at the various state levels including New York, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, California, Wyoming, and Texas as well federal agencies including U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), U.S. Treasuries Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We will review foundation case law including the relevant factors of the Howey Test to the recently settled SEC vs. Telegram case. The course will focus on the past, present, and future of this technology as it relates to the law and the hurdles that must be overcome both at the startup and developmental business levels, as well as the public company level including Overstock and J.P. Morgan.

In Blockchain and the Law Part I, faculty Jonathan Dunsmoor will take a high-level view of what a smart contract is and what it means to be compared to a blockchain or other distributed ledger technology. The course will use layman’s terms in connecting the technology to the legal parameters that it can and will affect. This will allow you to speak functionally and correctly about the topic at a basic technology level and will allow you as a lawyer to focus on the more complicated elements of the law as this technology develops and you continue through the course.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify what the technology means for lawyers and the public at large, including the history of Bitcoin and its smart contract evolution
  2. Examine the functionality and some of the inherent problems within the use of digital contracts and what information can and cannot be included on a blockchain
  3. Analyze how blockchain technology functions within the parameters of basic contract law, and the advantages and disadvantages of such a system 

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Jonathan C. Dunsmoor

Dunsmoor Law, P.C.

Jonathan C. Dunsmoor, Esq. is a US corporate attorney and international speaker on blockchain and the law. His practice focuses on complex corporate law and regulatory matters including blockchain-related securities offerings, asset management, and digital corporate governance. Mr. Dunsmoor represents private companies, including those exploring blockchain/cryptocurrency opportunities, as well as angel investors and investment funds. He has extensive experience in structuring, negotiating, and consummating public and private securities offerings with a particular focus on technology-driven finance including Crowdfunding, Regulation A+, and Security Token Offerings. He routinely advises large financial institutions and both private and public companies on blockchain technology. Jonathan is the founder and principal of Dunsmoor Law, P.C. and Senior Of Counsel for the New York-based Reid & Wise, LLC with offices in San Francisco and Shanghai.

Bar Admissions:

New York State


mark G.

GREAT introduction. Everyone interested in bitcoin or crypto law should start here.

Reva K.

highly informative

James H.

Fascinating and delivered well. Font is hard to read on several slides (see 16-18). Look forward to Part II.

Marco C.

Nice job explaining blockchain

Daniel K.

Good presentation, lots of quality information, but terrible recording quality

Daniel M.

A very interesting topic. Cannot wait to watch Episode II.

Jill G.

Great overview, very engaging

Kim F.

Very good overview. Well done in breaking down a complex topic.

James O.

Great course!!! Especially for lawyers with less technical knowledge on Bitcoin, blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

David D.

Outstanding presentation of complex material.

Joseph F.

Interesting material and the presenter made it fun.

Karin V.

good overview/intro!

Stephen W. H.

Great job!

Laila H.

important subject matter

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