Legal Challenges in Blockchain Space

NEAR Foundation Legal team

Sonja Prstec, Cindy Lam, Mark Ery, Zana Islami, Mya Shofany, Nathan Cho, Damir Vukoja

May 23rd, 9:00 - 17:00

The goal

Get better insight into the current worldwide legal and regulatory affairs in the industry. Regulations are stiff and we are discussing uncharted territory. Feel free to join if you are interested to get perspective from the team working for a long time in the industry. 


Public interest in cryptocurrencies has been surging as multiple industries have been exploring how to capitalize off the new technology. As public interests increase, new uses for cryptos develop almost every day. As new uses of cryptocurrencies emerge, so too do its potential legal liabilities. In our NEAR legal workshop we will tackle various topics that we as legal practitioners within the NEAR ecosystem are facing daily and will offer to the participants of the workshop to get a better insight into the current worldwide legal and regulatory affairs in the industry.

We will be discussing the concept of intellectual property and ways to safeguard it in the crypto world.

In the world of cryptocurrency, there are no physical goods to protect but only ideas, logos, and brand names. With this new concept, it is difficult to establish and protect IP rights.

One can always take the traditional approach of registering at the local or jurisdiction level intellectual property registry, but this is long and cumbersome. So, instead, perhaps it is time for use to make use of the blockchain technology. To use Blockchain as a technology- based IP registry where IP owners can keep hashed digital certificates of their IP and use the platform to get royalties from those who use their creations and inventions using smart contracts.

This workshop is for:

  • Anyone interested in the legal aspects of blockchain topics.
  • For inexperienced legal practitioners it will be harder to follow, but it is not mandatory to work in the industry.

  • Duration

  • Introduction

  • 30 min

  • Path to decentralization with Sonja Prstec

  • 1 h 15 min

  • Coffee break

  • 15 min

  • Human Resources in a decentralized world with Damir Vukoja

  • 30 min

  • The rise of DAOs with Zana Islami

  • 30 min

  • Lunch break

  • 1 hr

  • IP rights challenges surrounding development and products with Cindy Lam

  • 30 min

  • Regulatory outlook surrounding Defi and Stablecoins with Mya Shofany

  • 45 min

  • Coffee break

  • 15 min

  • NFTs, Gaming, and the Law with Nathan Cho

  • 30 min

  • Legal concerns of the Metaverse with Mark Ery

  • 30 min

  • Wrap-up discussions

  • 1 h

  • Workshop is in 🇬🇧 English language.

  • Lunch and coffee breaks are included in the price

Meet your lecturers

Sonja Prstec

Experienced Lawyer with a demonstrated skills advising technology projects and start-ups ( DLT, blockchain ). Skilled in European Law, Corporate Law, Civil Litigation, Contract Negotiation. Strong legal professional with diploma focused on challenging regulatory landscape.

Cindy Lam

Contract Manager at NEAR Foundation
I have studied at the University of Zurich, Switzerland in Master of International and Comparative Law and at the University of Law, London in Master of Business, Law, and Management.

Mark Ery

Contract Manager at NEAR foundation / Grants team
My main focus at the NEAR Foundation is to review projects that have applied for a grant and

to manage the contract workflows once the project has been approved for a grant. As well as

being passionate about traveling, nature and sports I enjoy connecting with people and learning

about new subjects. More importantly I am a crypto/blockchain enthusiast!

Zana Islami

Legal assistant at NEAR foundation
Rather than practicing traditional law, I have chosen to pursue a career in a highly fascinating industry. I began working at NEAR Foundation after completing my Masters in Public International Law in 2020 in Amsterdam and my Masters in General Law in 2021 in Zürich. I have been interested in blockchain/crypto for a few years, and it has been a fantastic opportunity for me to kick off my career in this industry.

Mya Shofany

Regulatory Specialist at NEAR Foundation

Nathan Cho

Legal Counsel at NEAR Foundation
Nathan is a US lawyer with experience in business and financial services from within a variety of settings, including a large bank, two fintechs, an investment firm, and his own crypto-related project/startup. He’s been a fan of blockchain/crypto since 2014 when he was first introduced to Bitcoin, and has been gradually increasing his understanding and expertise around its legal and regulatory issues since then. He joined NEAR recently to finally focus 100% on the ecosystem and is loving it.

Damir Vukoja

People Operations Manager at NEAR Foundation

UBIK - Croatian Association for Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, is a non-profit organization for advancing usage of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.