Canada Announces Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence

On May 14, 2019, the Government of Canada announced the creation of its Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence (“Council”). The objectives of the Council include creating more jobs for Canadians, supporting entrepreneurs, and improving Canada’s global position in artificial intelligence (“AI“) research and development.

The Council will consider and identify: (i) innovative approaches to build on Canada’s current AI strengths and to further develop AI; (ii) opportunities for economic growth in Canada; and (iii) other opportunities in the AI sector that will benefit Canadians.

The Council will also establish working groups, including a working group with respect to commercializing value from Canadian-owned AI and data analytics.

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Smart Contract Series – Legal implications for consideration, Part 1: Definition and enforceability

I. Introduction

This article kicks off a series that will explore legal issues relating to smart contracts. No doubt, smart contracts have become a hot topic, as more use cases for them emerge in various industries (from food and agriculture, to financial services and insurance). This heightened interest has shone the spotlight on a number of legal issues that arise from the intersection of blockchain technology on which smart contracts are based, and the legal framework for contracts. These issues include enforceability, dispute resolution mechanisms and remedies, which will be addressed in this and forthcoming articles.

II. What is a smart contract?

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Securities regulators provide guidance on coin and token offerings

On June 11, 2018, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released CSA Staff Notice 46-308 – Securities Law Implications for Offerings of Tokens (Notice) providing guidance on the applicability of securities laws to offerings of coins or tokens, including those commonly referred to as “utility tokens”.1

While the tone of the Notice suggests that the CSA considers most crypto-coins and tokens to be securities, it includes guidance as to when they might constitute mere utility tokens not subject to securities laws. This note discusses and provides context on the key points in the Notice, including:

  1. The existing “investment contract” analysis will often guide regulators in determining whether an offering involves a security, i.e., they will ask whether it entails an investment of money in a common enterprise, with profits significantly attributable to the efforts of others.
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