Cryptolawyer, decentralizing the things.


Hi, I’m Peter Van Valkenburgh.

I’m Director of Research at Coin Center. JD from NYU, and a 2013 Google Policy Fellow. I write about how legal theory can help us understand the development of self-regulation and self-governance within online communities, and, conversely, how network technologies can improve traditional legal systems. Take a look:

The Blog

  • Your Secret Right to Cash

    Secret rights are like the law of gravity. We’ve never had to have a law that ensures that people don’t end up floating up into space against their will. Why? Because gravity has been working all this time, and no one has made defying gravity so easy that it starts happening accidentally or to people […]

  • Do Animated Gifs Infringe on Copyrights?

    (Cross Posted from Quora) As of October 2013, there is no US case that definitively states whether creating a GIF made from copyrighted material is or isn’t copyright infringement. That said, there is good reason to believe that GIF-makers would not be liable for infringement because of the doctrine of “Fair Use.” That’s the simple […]

  • We Are All Hayekians Now: The Internet Generation and Knowledge Problems

    The much-appropriated phrase “we are all Xs now,” apparently got its start in the late 19th century when William Vernon Harcourt somewhat prematurely declared “We’re all socialists now.” Since then, we’ve all been Bolsheviks, according to Shaw, Keynesians, according to either Nixon or Friedman, Thatcherites, according to Peter Mandelson, and Austrians according to Ron Paul. […]