The Metaverse, NFTs, Crypto and Web3 present new legal challenges in such areas as privacy, security, IP, securities law, tax, and marketing. As these technologies revolutionize the digital landscape and global economy, attorneys must stay current and remain informed to ethically represent their client base.
Web3 is the next generation of the World Wide Web. It incorporates the Metaverse, decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. This is in contrast to current Web2 where everything is centralized in a small group of Big Tech companies. Web3 will provide increased data security, scalability, and privacy for users.
Metaverse is also a new technology term. It coupled with Web3 refers to the way these emerging technologies will interoperate to implement new efficiencies like autonomous driving and virtual adventures like augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds . The Web3 based Metaverse is the convergence of the physical and digital worlds The Web3 based Metaverse also translates to a digital economy involving decentralized autonomous organizations transacting in cryptocurrency and digital assets refactoring ownership in real and personal physical property.
The new era of the Web3 and the Metaverse will have implicate all aspects of our society, including our health, finance, entertainment, and the economy. There will be legal implications. For example, if consumer law is to effectively protect users from unfair or abusive practices in the Web3 and Metaverse, it will have to be able to access the commercial arrangements in which users transact in the Metaverse happening entirely in the virtual world.
Transacting in Web3 based digital assets will also mount a significant challenge to regulation. Non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) are digital assets that represent ownership in a unique item or content. NFTs representing music or art, for instance, may involve royalty payments that are automated on the token being transferred between users. New laws and regulation will need to ensure that the ownership and transaction in NFTs can be enforceable as users attempt to evade enforceability based on their virtual location or identity settings.
Additionally, given that Web3 and Metaverse activity will emanate from individuals and businesses existing in the physical world, the computer code which implements the Web3 and Metaverse may collide with the regulatory bodies. Existing laws will not always be able to address these virtuality incidents. New legislation developed by tech savvy attorneys will be needed. Laws and regulatory bodied that do not adapt to the challenges posed by the Web3 and Metaverse risk being displaced by governance provided by computer code. The question will be whether computer code or law will regulate conduct in the this new tech paradigm. The law must align with computer code or it will be replaced by computer code.
With a cast of experts in this new emerging Web3 and Metaverse, we will be introducing and analyzing how new technologies will change our lives and how lawyers can prepare themselves and their firms for this eventuality. This presentation will guide you through these new technologies in a palatable way highlighting legal issues you must navigate in the digital revolution.
Program Co-sponsor: NYCLA’s Law and Technology Committee and NYCLA’s Securities and Exchanges Section
Program Chairs: Joseph Bambara, Withers Bergman/UCNY, Inc.; Brett Cotler, Seward & Kissel, LLP; co-Chairs NYCLA’s Law and Technology Committee
Faculty: Joseph Bambara, CIPP/US, Of Counsel, Withersworldwide.com; M. Ridgway Barker, Withersworldwide; Ron Espinosa, SoftChoice; Adam Wandt, Esq., John Jay College of Criminal Justice