Tuesday Project Spotlight: First Annual Blockchain Law for Social Good Conference
Updated: Jan 25
This week we are spotlighting the first-ever Blockchain Law for Social Good Conference! The conference took place last week on October 20th and 21st. The conference included speakers and panels about blockchain technology, related legal issues, and the social impact potential of this emerging industry.
One of our notable keynote speakers was Dickinson Law Professor, Tonya Evans. Professor Evans spoke about her personal experiences with economic justice and explained blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and other crypto assets as ways to level the playing field for traditionally marginalized communities. She spoke about how blockchain technology can be used in a novel way to manage data transparently. However, she acknowledged that “Blockchain is not hot sauce—you cannot use it on everything. Decentralization isn’t a solution for every issue and that has to be ok!”
The two-day conference included panels discussing blockchain litigation updates, the impact of NFTs, what regulations might look like for money in the future, and whether blockchain technology will enhance privacy law. In addition, students from UC Berkeley’s Computer Science department presented explained blockchain technology has developed and what direction it will take in the future. They also clarified how Algorand’s blockchain differs from other blockchains. This portion of the conference talk provided technical insights to lawyers (most of whom are not computer science majors!).
Attendees agreed that Friday’s “Conversation with Government Policymakers” was a real highlight of the conference. In a closed-door workshop, attendees discussed challenges and opportunities for California blockchain regulation with Suzanne Martindale from the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation and Luke Reidenbach from the California Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. The workshop offered a unique opportunity for discussion among a wide variety of stakeholders.
Our Executive Director Tanya Woods then conducted a Fireside Chat with Loni Mahanta from OpenSea about the rights of NFT creators. Friday’s keynote speaker was Olga Mack, CEO of Parley Pro and VP at LexisNexis, who spoke about how “the future is for builders.” She discussed ways in which participants at the conference could build a deeper level of knowledge about legal issues in the blockchain industry. Like Professor Evans, her keynote talk was inspiring and fun to watch. The conference concluded with two exciting Fireside Chats, as our Founding Director Professor Michele Neitz met with Marta Belcher from Protocol Labs/ Filecoin Foundation and Ben Bartlett, Berkeley City Councilmember. Recordings of every presentation will be available soon!
We would like to take a moment again to thank our panelists, volunteers, attendees, and sponsors that made this event possible. A special thank you to our sponsors: Algorand Foundation, Tectonic LLP, Sideman Bancroft LLP, Huski.ai, Winston and Strawn LLP, Crypto.com, and Golden Gate University. We hope to see everyone back at our conference next year!