Cryptocurrency and the Law

2 May 2018, 7:30 - 11:30

Catallaxy, 456 Gauchetière West Street, Montreal

Cryptocurrency is intriguing, it’s risky, it’s new and exciting. But is it ethical? Is it sustainable?

What of the legislative framework and regulatory controls that will sooner or later fill this legal void? Is it slated for long-term growth, or is it doomed to fail like many other investment bubbles that came before?

*This activity is recognized by the Barreau du Québec as 4 hours of continuing legal education for jurists. 

*Proceeds from this event will support Eastern Bloc's activities. 



THEME // Cryptocurrency is a hot topic these days, in large part due to its volatility and the sensational inflation in trading prices, but also because its technical complexity shrouds it in mystery and effectively renders it incomprehensible to the average person. The growing concern around cryptocurrency is that it is being driven by a gold-rush, first-in-first-out mentality, leaving those who are inexperienced or new to the game to pick up the crumbs left over by early investors. However, while many believe the crypto craze to be a glorified pyramid scheme, others see it as bona fide alternative to, even a replacement of, the global capitalist economic system. 

This event will look at the legal, economic, social, and creative aspects of cryptocurrency. It is for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of the subject through stimulating, knowledgeable  discussion. A basic to intermediate knowledge of the  topics covered is recommended although not necessary.


KEYNOTE LECTURER // Jillian Friedman, is National Bank of Canada's Blockchain Lead. Jillian focuses on leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology for the Bank and works with the Bank’s venture fund NA Ventures. Jillian’s unique background includes several years of cryptocurrency and blockchain industry experience. She has published several works on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and spoken before the Canadian Senate. Previously, Jillian was Senior Legal Counsel for the Bank and has also acted as counsel to Montreal’s Bitcoin Embassy. She holds a B.A. from McGill University and an LL.B. and J.D. from University of Montreal. 



Papy Bakayoko, a portfolio manager in a Montreal hedge fund specializing in arbitrage investment strategies. His curiosity about new technologies led him to understand more about the Distributed Ledger Technology and cryptocurrencies. He trades them on a personal basis and his interests are cryptoeconomics, blockchain governance and consensus protocols.

Erwan Jonchères, completed an LLM in Information Technology Law at UdeM after obtaining a Master's degree at Paris V. He wrote a memoir on the legal framework of cryptocurrency between 2013 and 2015. He is presently working at the Laboratory of Cyberjustice on  blockchain projects and artificial intelligence.

William Robinson, a blockchain and strategy analyst who holds the titles of Communications Director and Senior Manager at Catallaxy, a crypto-consulting firm and subsidiary of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is also PhD Candidate in Game Studies at Concordia University. Before joining Catallaxy, William was a game designer and a university lecturer.

Jean-francois Pelland, is a partner in Gowling WLG's Montréal office. His domestic and international business law practice focuses on corporate, public and private financing, as well as mergers and acquisitions, structuring and tax planning. He also supervised the first Canadian Initial Coin Offering completed under the supervision of the Canadian regulators and the first Canadian equity crowd-funding using a numeric portal, the whole in accordance with Canadian securities laws

MODERATOR // Nadia Seraiocco is a graduate of the MA program at UQAM in Art History, she has also studied at HEC DESS in Arts Management, and is a current doctoral student in Communications at UQAM. Since 2013, she lectures at the UQAM Media School. In 2010, she co-authored one of the first Quebec books about social media, Les médias sociaux 101, published by Groupe Librex. An independent blogger since 2002 (, she has also written two years for Triplex, the technological blog of Radio-Canada and she is a columnist at ICI Première, at The Sphère.

Coffee and breakfast will be served.



2 May 2018, 7:30 - 11:30

Catallaxy, 456 Gauchetière West Street, Montreal