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Understanding NFT legal and regulatory issues

21 December 2021, 14:00 UTC

NFTs are making headlines has the next big thing. Like other collectibles,
their value mainly depends on two factors, scarcity and speculation. The latter may, in certain cases, be replaced by desire to own something as status symbol, in which case the speculative character remains more in the background. NFTs will play a significant role in the Metaverse as currently projected by Facebook and others. Companies will use the new trend to further monetise their brands, such as by offering virtual NFT sneakers one can ‘wear’ in the Metaverse … which is brilliant from the commercial point of view as most inhabitants will still want to own a pair in the physical world as well.

The above described issues of value, speculation and a potentially overheating market are partly a matter for behavioural economists. From the regulatory and policy angle, there are a number of points to carefully monitor. Some of these form part of the sphere of consumer protection, whereas others concern the wider question of whether rights acquired in NFTs or through NFTs are legally robust.

NFT sign on a microchip on a golden electronic board

Using the case study of the ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club’, the panel will explore the NFT ecosystem, with a particular focus on
– the roles of various services providers, such as NFT exchanges (e.g., ‘Open Sea’) and custodians (e.g., Venly)
– specific NFT risks, such as high gas fees, white listing and the infringement of IP rights), and
– risks which are generally a inherent in transacting in crypto assets, which also materialise in the context of NFTs, in particular as regards the certainty and enforceability of holding, which we also discuss in the context of our ‘stable coin’ seminar later this year.

Prof Philipp Paech Foounder of Fintech Foundation


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