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The Canadian Bar Association

Fiona Morrow

Privacy

Blockchain’s role as a privacy enhancing technology

By Fiona Morrow October 3, 2018 3 October 2018

Blockchain’s role as a privacy enhancing technology

 

Many of us hear the word “blockchain,” mentally file it under “something to do with Bitcoin,” and then swiftly move on. But there is more to this new technology than the cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, that use it. And lawmakers need to start thinking now about its long-term implications.

Top of mind is blockchain’s potential to enable greater data privacy and data security, says Florian Martin-Bariteau, who runs the University of Ottawa’s Blockchain Legal Lab, a research team investigating the practical uses of the technology — and the legal issues those uses raise. He’s also on a panel at the forthcoming CBA Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium in Ottawa (Oct. 19 and 20) that will compare uses of blockchain in other industries.

“The blockchain technology is actually a protocol for information or asset exchange, and an infrastructure for data storage and management,” he says. “It is literally a chain of blocks of information which are interlinked in a secure way.”

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Insolvency

The challenges of managing insolvency in the IT sector

By Fiona Morrow September 19, 2018 19 September 2018

The challenges of managing insolvency in the IT sector

 

If a company’s assets consist primarily of ideas, securing funding to keep the development of that idea going forward through an insolvency process can be a real challenge.

That’s because everything that is exciting about new technology becomes part of the problem when an IT company goes into receivership before its product has been fully developed. How do you value an asset that doesn’t exist yet, is highly sensitive to competition, international in scope, and has a high financial burn rate?

“It requires a great deal of confidence in the future product. You don’t see a lot of people rushing forward,” said Lance Williams of Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP at the CBA Insolvency Law Conference in Vancouver on Sept. 14. “The key question for financers is: how much do you want to spend, and is it worth spending it?”

The particular difficulties of managing insolvency in the IT sector was the topic of a panel discussion that included Williams, Kathryn Esaw (Stikeman Elliott LLP), Jeff Keeble (Deloitte Restructuring Inc.), and moderator Tevia Jeffries (Dentons Canada LLP).

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