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Germany: Court Holds That Bitcoin Trading Does Not Require a Banking License

(Oct. 19, 2018) On September 29, 2018, the Higher Regional Court of Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin, KG Berlin) held that trading in Bitcoin does not require a banking license because Bitcoin is not a financial instrument, in particular, not a unit of account, within the meaning of the German Banking Act. The defendant was therefore not […]

Israel: Public Bodies Required to Provide Digital Access

(Sept. 27, 2018) On July 17, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Law on Contacting Public Bodies by Means of Digital Communications, 5778-2018 (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] [BOOK OF LAWS] (official gazette) 5778 No. 2744 p. 902, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue No. 2744)). The Law requires specified public bodies to […]

China: Supreme Court Issues Rules on Internet Courts, Allowing for Blockchain Evidence

(Sept. 21, 2018) On September 3, 2018, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a judicial interpretation on the hearing of cases by the country’s newly created internet courts. Taking effect on September 7, 2018, the SPC Provisions on the Hearing of Cases by Internet Courts (SPC Interpretation) allows evidence stored and verified on blockchain platforms […]

Liechtenstein: Government Adopts Consultation Report on Draft Blockchain Act

(Sept. 20, 2018) On August 28, 2018, the government of Liechtenstein adopted a consultation report on a proposed Blockchain Act. The goal of the Blockchain Act is to take advantage of the potential of blockchain technology, create legal certainty for market participants, protect users of blockchain technology from potential abuse, and reduce potential reputation risks […]

Malta: Government Passes Three Laws to Encourage Blockchain Technology

(Aug. 31, 2018) On July 4, 2018, the Maltese government enacted three laws whose goal is to make Malta a haven for projects that rely on blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT). The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS Act), and Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Strengthens Rights of Copyright Holders

(Aug. 24, 2018) On August 7, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the download and subsequent posting on a website of a photograph that has previously been published on another website with the consent of the author and was freely accessible requires new consent from the copyright holder. The upload of such […]