The regulation of the metaverse has raised many questions

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2023 NYSBA Metaverse Symposium at NYU, April 28 and 29 L-R: Daniel Stabile, Michael Clare, Sherry Levin Wallach, Arturo Banegas Masia and Marc Gollardo.

The regulation of the metaverse has raised many questions


By David Alexander

The next generation of technology, which includes Metaverse and Web3, has the potential to transform the way business is done internationally and across the legal profession. However, the lack of clarity regarding this regulation is clouded by many factors, including the speed with which various jurisdictions have introduced regulatory procedures.

That was the overall consensus of an international panel of experts speaking during Saturday’s opening session of the New York State Bar Association’s two-day conference entitled “Deep Dive Into the Metaverse: The First Global Law Symposium,” hosted by the Metaverse Collaborative of the New York University was aligned with the School of Professional Studies.

Daniel Stabile and Kimberly Prior, partners at Winston & Strawn, were the co-chairs of the panel. Arturo Banegas Masiá, Partner at Akerman; Marc Gallardo, Partner at RSM Spain and President of the Technology and Community Law Department of the Barcelona Bar Association; and Michael Clare, Head of Digital Assets and Fintech Operations at Liongate Bahamas and Founder of One X Solutions, made up the panel, which spoke for approximately an hour.

“We’re seeing more rules and regulations being made, so some jurisdictions have accepted regulations, others are even more undecided,” Clare said. “Those who embrace it take the attitude that this applies to us and allows us to operate in a safe space. And those who don’t want to take it, I think, are harming themselves.”

Stabile explained that one of the biggest challenges is the relative timeliness of the technology.

“Of course, digital assets are a new technology, but they’re not that new,” Stabile said. “I think some regulators could have invested more resources to understand the technology, but today there are some jurisdictions that are doing a better job than others. Digital assets themselves present unique challenges in terms of regulatory treatment, and I think one of the reasons for this is that digital assets can come with unique characteristics.”

In the US, the regulatory framework is unclear due to the definition of cryptocurrencies, whether as securities or commodities.

“The regulatory framework here in the US is kind of unknown and kind of unstable. Sometimes the SEC says crypto assets are securities, and sometimes they say they are not. For example, in 2018 the Chairman (Jay Clayton) said that they were not securities and would not be treated as securities. However, the new chair of the SEC (Gary Gensler) is taking a more positive stance and trying to bring crypto assets under these securities regulations,” Banegas Masiá said.

Clare ended the discussion by reiterating his desire for more government rules.

“I’ll always say that to some degree we should put in rules and regulations because we want consumer protection, investor protection and these guard rails for recourse,” Clare said.

Prior to the event, attendees were able to download a POAP, an acronym for Proof of Attendance Protocol, for additional insight into an aspect of Web3. A POAP is a unique crypto badge or token used to record memorial events and stored in a digital wallet that can also be downloaded.

Go here register and access this program on request.

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