Understanding Blockchain-Enabled Distributed (P2P) Energy Trading

This article aims not to discuss the recent frenetic price changes in cryptocurrencies, but to rather take a closer look at one of the proposed facets of the Blockchain revolution: Blockchain-Enabled Distributed Energy Trading (or Blockchain-Enabled P2P Energy Trading). This supposed revolution posits that Blockchain enables retail users to trade energy with each other effectively, the economic incentives of which will prompt retail users to produce their own electricity with renewable means, and thus, reduce Continue Reading →

Has the Time Come to Kill Quill?

The Online Sales Tax Controversy State and local governments are at a nearly unprecedented level of underfunding and it might have something to do with our online shopping carts. In 2017, the Government Accountability Office estimated that state and local governments experienced a loss of anywhere from $8 billion to $13 billion due to the prohibition on collecting state sales taxes on online purchases. Online commerce accounts for 9.1% of total retail sales and continues Continue Reading →

The Emerging Trend of Data Localization

Free flow of data across the globe has been a remarkable feature of the Internet. Innovations like cloud computing—spreading data across a host of servers in several locations—have been possible due to the free, open nature of the Internet, and have resulted in technical efficiencies and reduced costs. Cross-border data flows are estimated to have raised the world GDP by 10.1%. However, this lack of borders in the digital world has tested traditional notions of Continue Reading →

STLR Link Round-up – Jan 26, 2018

Qualcomm: the Latest Victim of the Harsh Antitrust Enforcement by EU In a recent move, the EU competition regulator fined Qualcomm €997m (US$ 1.2bn) for anti-competitive practices. Qualcomm was deemed to be abusing its dominant market position in the LTE baseband chipsets market by making exclusivity arrangements with device manufacturer Apple – arrangements that essentially would see Apple use only Qualcomm chips for their smartphones and tablet devices. As the European Commission noted, “Qualcomm prevented Continue Reading →

Human Germline Modification Is Coming

Introduction Inside a decade, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will approve clinical trials for the genomic modification of a viable human embryo in order to prevent disease. That seems a real possibility in light of significant developments in policy and research this year. While such trials are currently barred in the United States by federal law, the prospect of future trials gained key support from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Continue Reading →

Video Game Loot Boxes

Introduction Recently, a trend has developed in the video game industry of selling virtual “loot boxes” to consumers. This concept evolved from conventional trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Pokémon and developed in the virtual sphere through mobile games and virtual card games such as Activision Blizzard’s Hearthstone. However, as this fledgling concept moved beyond free-to-play mobile games and into fully-priced $60 video games, consumers have responded with significant backlash against what Continue Reading →

Rapid DNA Testing: Verification or Collection Tool?

This year, the first local police precinct received and began using an on-site Rapid DNA testing device. Within 90 minutes, a cheek swab of any suspect can be run, exonerating or verifying their identity. If this program is a success, more criminal investigations will be solved with greater efficiency than ever before.  However, the limitations of the devices are pronounced. They cannot, for example, be used to help parse the controversy surrounding interpretation of complex Continue Reading →

Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

Uber/Under: Will Greyball amount to a gamble Uber couldn’t afford?

Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber), the popular ground transportation technology company, has had a controversial start to 2017. Its latest crisis involves an Uber-developed “tool” coined “Greyball” which was ostensibly designed to “den[y] ride requests to users who are violating [Uber’s] terms of service”, according to the company.[1] In reality, Uber deployed the Greyball program, at least in part, to thwart and evade local law enforcement officials and Uber’s regulators with the intent of avoiding costly Continue Reading →

Are Electronic Voting Machines and Cyber Secure Elections Compatible?

Approximately 70% of Americans live in counties that employ either optically scanned paper ballots or electronic voting with a verifiable paper trail (a printed paper record of the vote).[1] These are fairly safe methods of casting and counting votes, because both methods are verifiable. Challenges with ensuring cyber security and electoral integrity arise when counties use electronic voting machines without verifiable paper trails, as for example many counties in Pennsylvania do.[2]  Employing an electronic voting Continue Reading →