Bitcoin PHOTO

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more attention as days pass. Aside from the advantages that cryptocurrencies have like anonymity and easy international transactions, people are enticed by the fact that it can become a good investment. Apart from trading bitcoins for cash, you can also use bitcoins to buy gift cards, book flights, and hotels, buy furniture, or even buy real estate properties. Bitcoin purchases are not taxed at the moment since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that use bitcoins. Transaction fees are considerably lower as well compared to credit card transactions or services like Paypal.

Although there are many advantages in using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, just like any other investments, you should always be careful with your transactions. Since cryptocurrency is not regulated, many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this and incidents of fraudulent cryptocurrencies, and other types of scam related to cryptocurrency have happened. One example of this is Prodeum, a cryptocurrency start-up that scammed its investors in just one weekend.

Because of these scams, law firms have now been involved in helping the victims. Cryptocurrency litigation has now become something that some lawyers specialize in. There are a lot of factors to consider when a cryptocurrency dispute arises. Aside from fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), lawyers could get involved if the cryptocurrency was used to launder money or hide assets; they could also get involved when there is an issue with the company, commercial, or intellectual property laws being violated in relation to cryptocurrency.

Here are some things that you can do as a cryptocurrency user to avoid being scammed:

  1. Research. – Just like with any other investments that you will make, research is essential. When investing in an ICO, make sure to read and dissect their white papers to ensure that you’re working with reliable people. Take time to research the people behind the ICO, their whole team, board members, and other investors. It’s vital for you to learn as much as you can about the company before investing so that there will be no unpleasant surprises.
  2. Be vigilant. – Cryptocurrency is still primarily bought and sold at exchanges. Because cryptocurrency is something new and the fuss around it is its value, many people get scammed by the promise of unrealistic prices. If an exchange promises incredible discounts or offers that seem too good to be true, it probably is. Another thing that you can do to avoid bitcoin exchange scams is to check the exchange’s URL. If a website’s address starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP, that means that the traffic is encrypted and therefore has more protection.
  3. Only use trusted sources. – Hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your private keys. Hardware wallets offer more protection from hacking since there is no way for hackers to access them when you’re not online. However, hackers have now found a way around that. Some hackers sell hardware wallets that have a backdoor for them to access all your cryptocurrency and the best way to avoid this is only to accept hardware wallets from trusted sources.

In need of expert legal advice? Contact us at Hogan Injury.

None of the content on is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.


20 great career tips from successful entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is about the journey, not the destination. For those who have an entrepreneurial spirit, the following career tips are a reminder that it’s okay to fail—it’s all about learning from your mistakes and moving forward. Here are 20 great tips from successful entrepreneurs.

1. Elon Musk – Co-Founder of PayPal, CEO of Tesla & Founder of SpaceX

Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur, inventor, and investor. He is best known as CEO of electric-car manufacturer Tesla, co-founder of PayPal, and founder of commercial space program SpaceX. For an article in Time magazine, Musk was asked whether he had ever doubted his chances of success:

“I always knew that there was a chance of failure in all my endeavors,” he said. “But I felt that they were important enough that I had to try, even if I thought the probability of success was less than 50%.”

2. J.K. Rowling – Author of the Harry Potter Series

Known for her bestselling Harry Potter novels that have sold 450 million copies and won numerous awards, J.K. Rowling has a net worth of about US$850 million. Rowling has risen from rags to riches, and as she discussed in her 2008 commencement speech at Harvard University, knows that failure is not a bad thing:

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”

3. Stewart Butterfield – Co-Founder of Flickr & Slack

Canadian Stewart Butterfield is an entrepreneur and businessman, best known for being a co-founder of the photo sharing website Flickr and team messaging application Slack.

He recently shared some advice for young people with Adam Bryant of the New York Times: “Some people will know exactly what they want to do at a very young age, but the odds are low. I feel like people in their early- to mid-20s are very earnest. They’re very serious, and they want to feel like they’ve accomplished a lot at a very young age rather than just trying to figure stuff out. So I try to push them toward a more experimental attitude.”

4. Mark Cuban – Shark Tank Investor & Owner of the Dallas Mavericks

Known for his appearances on the ABC show Shark Tank, Cuban made his fortune through the sale of startups MicroSolutions and in the 1990s, and later became known as the enthusiastic owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

Cuban has made some controversial statements, but he does also give some pretty good advice. “One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this.”

5. Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook

As the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg juggles the tasks of monetizing the world’s largest social networking site while keeping its users happy and engaged. It’s a huge responsibility, but one well suited to Sandberg, who earlier in her career developed Google’s successful online advertising programs, but also worked as an economist at the World Bank and as chief of staff to then-U.S. treasury secretary Larry Summers.

Here’s her take on how to be yourself at work, no matter what. “I don’t believe we have a professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real self for the rest of the time. That kind of division probably never worked, but in today’s world … it makes even less sense. I’ve cried at work … I talk about my hopes and fears and ask people about theirs. I try to be myself. Honest about my strengths and weaknesses and I encourage others to do the same.”

6. Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft

Bill Gates is an American business leader, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, best known as the co-founder of Microsoft. Famous for being one of the richest people in the world, Bill Gates tweeted the following career advice to new college graduates: “AI, energy, and biosciences are promising fields where you can make a huge impact. It’s what I would do if starting out today.” He also encouraged grads to “surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self.”

7. Simon Sinek – Leadership Expert & Author

Simon Sinek describes himself as someone who tries to “find, celebrate, and teach leaders how to build platforms that will inspire others.” He is a trained ethnographer and the author of the book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. In 2012, Sinek tweeted the following advice: “Dream big. Start small. But most of all, start.”

8. Steve Jobs – Co-Founder of Apple

As the co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs was known for his relentless pursuit of excellence in everything the company did. At the root of his exacting standards was a deep passion for his work. In his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, Jobs said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

9. Jeff Bezos – Founder & CEO of Amazon.Com

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of online retailer and founder of space company Blue Origin, is currently the world’s richest person, with a total net worth of $134 billion as of May 2018. At a forum on leadership in April 2018, Bezos explained that space travel is his calling, and offered this advice: “You can have a job, or you can have a career, or you can have a calling. And if you can somehow figure out how to have a calling, you have hit the jackpot, ’cause that’s the big deal.”

10. Mark Zuckerberg – Co-Founder & CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder and CEO of Facebook and one of the richest people in the world. Back in 2011, he offered this advice to entrepreneurs during an interview at Y Combinator’s Start-up School in Palo Alto, California: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

11. Tobias Lütke – Founder & CEO of Shopify

Tobias Lütke is the founder and CEO of Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company that went public in 2015. In an interview with Canadian Business, he said: “I really encourage people to find a place that sort of culturally aligns with what they’re trying to accomplish, and then just go for it.”

12. Marla Malcolm Beck – Co-Founder & CEO of Bluemercury

Marla Malcolm Beck is the co-founder and CEO of Bluemercury, a luxury beauty retailer and spa that was sold to Macy’s for $210 million in 2015. In an interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Beck offered the following advice to graduating college students: “Bring an expertise or skill set into an organization, or be the expert at something that nobody else is doing.”

13. Chip Wilson – Founder & Former CEO of Lululemon Athletica

Chip Wilson, the founder and former CEO of athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica, now manages a portfolio of companies under the name Hold It All. Back in 2013, Wilson shared the best advice he had ever received with Business Insider: “It took me a long time to understand it, but [the advice was] to ask for help and that I don’t know it all. People love to help. I don’t have to be insecure and know it all.”

14. Brian Chesky – Co-Founder & CEO of Airbnb

Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of peer-to-peer apartment rental service Airbnb, told the New York Times’ Adam Bryant that recent grads shouldn’t listen to their parents.

“They’re the most important relationships in your life, but you should never take your parents’ career advice, and I’m using parents as a proxy for all the pressures in the world,” Chesky said. “I also say that whatever career you’re in, assume it’s going to be a massive failure. That way, you’re not making decisions based on success, money and career. You’re only making it based on doing what you love.”

15. Tony Robbins – Inspirational Speaker

Tony Robbins is a life and business strategist, bestselling author, and philanthropist. In a 2016 Facebook Live discussion hosted by Business Insider, Robbins shared the advice given to him early in his career by his mentor, the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn:

“Your worth in the marketplace is based on your ability to add more value than anyone else. If you can find a way to do more for others in your company, more for the employees, more for the clients, than anybody else, your gifts will make room for you. But in order to do that, you’ve got to build skills.”

16. Maya Angelou – Author & Activist

The many inspiring quotes from the late Maya Angelou are evidence of the celebrated writer and civil rights activist’s entrepreneurial spirit. Take this piece of advice, for example: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

17. Melanie Whelan – CEO of SoulCycle

Melanie Whelan, the CEO of fitness chain SoulCycle, believes that new college graduates should focus on the present and not get hung up on what they feel they “should” be doing. In an interview with the New York Times’ Adam Bryant, she said: “The first thing I say is to get a job and work hard. You are going to learn a ton in whatever that job is, so don’t stress too much about what it is or where it is. Just take a job and put your head down, work hard, raise your hand for anything anybody asks you to do.”

18. Rick Goings – CEO of Tupperware Brands

Rick Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands, began his career as a door-to-door salesman of encyclopedias—a job at which he was not successful. In an interview with Business Insider in 2015, Goings explained why failure is an important step on the road to success: “The experiences you get in failure are some of the best lessons you can apply in life. I truly believe you need to fail in order to succeed. It’s never a straight line to success, and it’s the bumps and pivots that help you get there.”

19. Salli Setta – President of Red Lobster

Salli Setta, the president of popular restaurant chain Red Lobster, told Business Insider that she sees lunchtime as a prime networking opportunity.

“It isn’t about saying ‘hi, what are we going to talk about, let’s talk about sports.’ It’s about identifying the object of this lunch in your mind.” Setta recommends preparing questions and ideas ahead of time for a more productive discussion.

20. Henry Ford – Founder of Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company and the man who revolutionized the automobile industry by developing assembly line production, reportedly once said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”—a helpful reminder for those who have entrepreneurial aspirations but have yet to take action!


Coinbase acquires and hires CEO as Chief Technology Officer

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired, a paid messaging service enabled by Blockchain technology, and appointed the company’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, as its first Chief Technology Officer (CTO), TechCrunch reported April 16.

Neither Coinbase nor, formerly known as, disclosed the terms of the deal, but Srinivasan told TechCrunch that it represented a positive return on investment for those who backed Since the company initially raised $120 mln in investment, there is some indication as to the cost of the deal.

As part of the acquisition, the digital currency exchange hired’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, as its first CTO. The rest of the team will also move over to Coinbase. Srinivasan holds a BS, MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering, and is known as an early evangelist of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Prior to, Srinivasan was a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He will reportedly continue to be involved with Andreessen Horowitz, and apart from the CTO position at Coinbase, will also be responsible for recruiting crypto talent to the company. Srinivasan said:

“With Coinbase’s user base and distribution muscle, I think it could hit $100 mln in ARR in a few months. I’m proud of the fact that we turned what could have been a disaster into a successful product and I’m excited about the road ahead.”

Coinbase has recently been acquiring a slew of new talent. Last week, the digital currency exchange hired a new Vice President of Communications, Rachel Horowitz, who previously served as Director of Technology Communications at Facebook. At Twitter she worked on scaling the communications team and developing company narrative.

In December 2017, former PayPal and Facebook executive David Marcus, joined Coinbase’s board of directors. CEO Brian Armstrong said Marcus’ “knowledge of both the payments and mobile space” was what would help “guide” Coinbase going forward.

World’s youngest self-made billionaire is 27-years-old and hails from Ireland

At 27, John Collison is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. It’s rumoured to be lonely at the top but luckily Collison has his 29-year-old brother, Patrick – who also counts his wealth in ten digits – to keep him company.

The two brothers from a small village in rural Ireland founded Stripe, a company which runs the software behind more than 100,000 businesses. It handles online payments as well as providing a host of other services that help make it simple for firms to run their websites.

Many people may not have heard of Stripe but it counts Tesla’s Elon Musk and PayPal founder Peter Thiel as investors. A funding round last year valued Stripe at over $9bn ($7bn), meaning the Collison brothers each have a stake worth at least $1.1bn, according to Forbes magazine.

Despite this huge success, a recent interview with the BBC suggests John and Patrick remain down to earth.

Asked about experiencing vast wealth at such a young age, John said: “People now ask this a lot and I feel like they always want some really interesting answer – and I have nothing for them.”

“People ask ‘how has your life changed?’, and they want me to have taken up some elaborate new hobby, like Faberge egg collecting or yacht racing.”

Wealth is not new to the precocious pair. They both made their first million before they even went to university, thanks to another startup which helped companies make the most out of eBay.

John went to Harvard and Patrick attended the equally prestigious Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) but both dropped out in 2011, to focus on using their coding skills to build Stripe.

“You might wonder what is hard about starting an [online] business,” John told the BBC.

“Creating a product that people actually want to buy, and getting them to hear about it, all that we could handle. But getting money from people over the internet was extremely difficult.

”I remember saying to Patrick ‘how hard can it be? Maybe we should give it a try?’.“

There are numerous companies trying to help other firms process online payments but Stripe has managed to grow rapidly, priding itself on a simple business model and simple code.

In the UK it charges 1.4 per cent of the value of each transaction plus 20p, and firms can be up and running in a couple of minutes because Stripe “eliminates needless complexity and extraneous details”, according to its website.

Surpassing the billion-dollar mark doesn’t seem to have slowed the brothers’ ambitions. They point out that 5 per cent of consumer spending around the world is currently online.

”We are indexed to the growth of the internet economy. As long as the internet economy continues to grow, Stripe will continue to grow,” John told the BBC.

“I don’t know about you, but I think that is a very safe thing to bet on.”