Exploring the legal issues of cryptocurrency forks

7 23
Avatar for Freddy12
3 years ago

#PoweredByMonolith, This posting follows the basic foundation of Part 1 Blockchain Consensus . If the previous post focused on the meaning of the relationship, this post focuses on cryptocurrency , forks, and legal issues .

This posting is also a translation of the original text of Blocktrade, and some contents have been modified and added. If you are curious about the original content, please refer to the link below.

The start of cryptocurrency (digital assets)

Before discussing the basic legal rationale for cryptocurrency forks, it is worthwhile to talk a little about the basic background of how and why cryptocurrency networks exist.

When someone creates software that defines the rules of the cryptocurrency and one or more people run it on their computer, a new cryptocurrency is born. In most cryptocurrencies, the people who run this software are entirely voluntary and are not involved in signing a software execution agreement.

Cryptocurrency software is generally operated by an developer under an open source license, so anyone can run the software, and it is also possible to modify the software to suit their tastes and run the modified version of the software.

Why Coins or Tokens Have Value

The cryptocurrency (digital asset) of the public blockchain network, which we generally call coins or tokens, is for people to agree that they have the value of the coin (or token) , or to be willing to exchange the coin (token) with other goods. By doing so, (교환가치)you have value . The price (value) of a coin is based on people's emotions about the coin, and the price goes up or down according to the relative value of other products.

Of course, there (보증가치)are cases where a certain company operating a coin has a price corresponding to it by legally guaranteeing that it can be exchanged for a fixed product or price for a coin or token issued by them , but such a case is not common. .

At first glance, it may seem very strange to have value in the same way as above. According to the above, it means that anyone can issue their own cryptocurrency as much as they want and convince them that it is valuable to them and that they can purchase food or other products. However, in fact, this situation is currently happening in the cryptocurrency (digital asset) scene . Every day, new projects and numerous kinds of coins and tokens are appearing.

The way to add value to a coin or token is to convince people that it is worth it . If the person who leads the network has charismatic leadership or provides a unique utility (usage) that other existing coins or tokens do not have , you can give such confidence, and if you have both It will be more effective.

What is a fork?

The fork of cryptocurrency occurs when someone decides to modify and use the rules of existing cryptocurrency software, and others decide to join in running this modified software. In fact, technically, you don't have to convince others to use the modified software, just run it on your computer. However, as explained in the previous posting, the value of coins or tokens depends on how many people participate in running the software, so if there is only one person running the software, I think this is worth it There are fewer people.

As can be seen in the history of Bitcoin, forks in the cryptocurrency ecosystem are always possible. If you are not satisfied with the distribution of coins, or if you want to improve the technical weaknesses of existing coins (for example, it takes too long to transfer), or if you believe that someone has enough charisma and leadership to lead people It may be caused by reasons such as.

In fact, there are many people who think that only Bitcoin (with various fork coins being created) has value, and the rest of the coins are shitcoins created by greedy people to fill their stomachs.

Legal basis for cryptocurrency forks

First, let's put the basic background information behind for a moment, and then look at the legality of running a fork (modified version of the software) by a particular subject . In fact, forks are always happening in the cryptocurrency scene, but is this legally legal?

First of all, before I comment on this matter, I want to make it clear that I am not an attorney and this opinion is not a legal advice opinion. This opinion is based on my (Blocktrade) subject to the legal environment in the United States and my understanding of cryptocurrency software.

First off, limited to US law, it is legal to run and run software on your computer as a node in certain cryptocurrency networks in the United States . In this regard, I will not go into further explanation.

Key Fork Issues: Software License

The next major issue in relation to legal matters is whether someone has the right to run a modified form of cryptocurrency software on their computer . Here are two things to look for:

(1) Has the original developer of the software licensed a specific computer operator to run a modified version of the software?

(2) Has the computer operator ever signed a contract not to execute a modified copy?

In the case of most cryptocurrency software , it can be said that these two items are not applicable . The majority of cryptocurrency (blockchain) software is licensed to allow anyone to run the software in its original or modified form. In addition, all computer (node) operators will never sign a contract with the provision that they will only run certain types of software. In fact, most people who operate cryptocurrency software will follow a completely voluntary method of participation without any mandatory contract .

Even if some node operators have signed a contract not to run a modified form of the software, the fork of the software cannot be forcibly stopped unless the software license itself has an explicit fork prohibition. This is because new node operators who can always operate a modified version of the software are free to participate.

Fork infringement of property rights

Recently, a user made a claim that forking a user's stake except for a certain user's property would infringe and damage the property rights of the user . However, in my opinion (block trade), this seems to be a mistaken opinion that comes from misunderstanding the operation of cryptocurrency and its own value.

If someone runs a fork that does not contain the user's stake in A that existed in the previous software version, it will only disappear from the new version of the software running on his computer, and A's stake in the previous software version. It still exists, and it's possible to run software with your own stake on your computer. And you can persuade (or induce) others to run a version that includes their stake instead of "a version of the software without your own stake."

Even if the person running the fork (new version of the software) is running another version of the software that inherits the previous specific user stake, he must run the new software unless there is a contractual obligation to him. And is not responsible for doing so. The benefit that users have gained over the years is actually "a free gift."

Let me explain by using a case other than cryptocurrency. For example, consider a case where you are earning points while using a social media site that is voluntarily run by someone. If a social media site operator terminates the point system, what you lose if the site operator does not have any contractual obligations is a "free benefit" .

Compared to the examples of social media above, cryptocurrency has a nice differentiating advantage due to its decentralized nature. In general, unlike social media websites that operated on specific entities, software and data can be executed and accessed on someone's computer . So, you can run the software on your own computer, or someone else can run it. You have the option to run the software on my computer no matter what version of the software your former operator runs on your computer.

According to the aforementioned scenario, two cryptocurrencies now exist due to forks using different versions of the software . Both coins may have value, or maybe both have no value. The value of the two coins depends on whether others are willing to accept the exchange for other coins. This is one of the really interesting characteristics of cryptocurrency.

Since the evaluation of the value of the coin is purely up to the users, through the mechanism of exchange of cryptocurrency, each user can become a mediator of connection through exchange with what people are worth, how much they are. You decide voluntarily.

Legal issues Next issues

So far, we have looked at the legal issues related to cryptocurrency forks. In the next post why the forks of the money generated password , and then the fork occurred, what's happening , let's dealt with in detail about.

$ 0.01
$ 0.01 from @Monolith
Avatar for Freddy12
3 years ago


It too long to read so i didn read al of it but if fins this kind of helpful to everyone .

$ 0.00
3 years ago

Nice and informative article writing I really learn from it but I dont know how to make it usual for myself because its too long. Thanks for sharing up

$ 0.00
3 years ago

I love ur article dude

$ 0.00
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing... It's pretty informative

$ 0.00
3 years ago


$ 0.00
3 years ago

Thank you for providing this information. It is an eye opener for everyone in the world of cryptocurrency to know the legal points to equip him or herself against any legal issues.

$ 0.00
3 years ago

Great! This is quite interesting post. We are glad to be encouraging people to write more and more.

$ 0.00
3 years ago