Blockchain & digital assets commercialisation

Harnessing their potential to elevate your brand

If your brand is embarking on a Web3 or Metaverse strategy - whether to connect with a new generation of consumer or explore future revenue streams – Shoosmiths’ specialist team can help you navigate through this emerging legal landscape to achieve your goals.

Our team has extensive experience in advising clients on all types of Web3 and Metaverse projects, arrangements, and campaigns. In addition to having a deep understanding of the technologies involved – including blockchain based technologies like NFTs and POAPs – the team understands the market and the unique challenges that come with operating in this space.

The team supports clients of all sizes, profiles, and sectors through the rapidly evolving landscape – helping them to implement successful Web3 and Metaverse strategies. In addition to navigating the legal risks, the team can provide strategic input on the structure, set-up, and roll-out of your projects.

Recent examples include:

  • Advising various global brands on launching NFT campaigns.
  • Advising various global brands on establishing presences in Metaverses such as Decentraland, Sandbox and Zepeto.
  • Advising on the legal implications of decentralised technologies and smart contract development.
  • Advising on the legal aspects of the creation, authentication and management of virtual assets, including NFTs and virtual currency.
  • Advising on intellectual property & licensing, data privacy, tax, and marketing & advertising issues related to Web3 and Metaverse projects.

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Web3 / Metaverse Glossary

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  • 1. What's your objective?

    Firstly, you need to decide what you want to achieve from an NFT campaign. If the objective is to gain brand presence/earned media, interact with your customer base or just “dip your toe” in the NFT space, then consider running the campaign as a giveaway or competition, rather than revenue generating which can be higher risk. Remember, though, a giveaway or competition may be subject to local laws or regulations on its operation, so this may require separate compliance consideration.

  • 2. Territory

    Where will you launch the NFT campaign? Will it be global or territory specific? Each country may regulate NFTs indifferent ways, so careful consideration should be given to this and appropriate local legal advice sought.

  • 3. Which blockchain?

    There are many types of blockchain(and sidechain) that you can use to run your NFT campaign, each with different attributes. Some are more mainstream than others (which could affect accessibility and popularity) and some have less of an environmental impact. Do your research and pick a blockchain that works best for your business.

  • 4. Secure the IP rights

    Many campaigns involve NFTs as digital artwork in one form or another, often commissioned from artists or other 3rd parties. Ensure you enter into appropriate agreements with the artists to secure all relevant ownership or licence rights to the IP in the artwork for the purposes of the NFT campaign.

  • 5. Engage a tech partner

    Few business/brands have the in-house expertise or appetite to run their own NFT campaign, so it is not uncommon to engage a 3rd party tech partner to help run the campaign on your behalf. Appropriate contract terms will need to be negotiated with the tech partner for this purpose.

  • 6. Consumer facing documents

    Whether the NFT campaign is being run as a giveaway or competition (or even for revenue generation) appropriate consumer terms will need to be prepared to govern, amongst other things, how the consumer can enter, their rights in the NFT and how any personal data will be processed or shared.

  • 7. Minting

    To issue an NFT, the digital asset needs to be “minted” on the chosen blockchain which will attract transactional fees (known as “gas fees”). Be sure to budget for this and also enquire with your tech partner (see 5) whether this included in their fee as they, typically, perform the minting process on your behalf. Also, consider whether it would be more preferable to mint “on demand” rather than pre-mint, as the latter may raise accounting considerations for your business.

  • 8. Drop considerations

    When you launch the NFT campaign(also known as a “drop”), it is likely that you will want that to be with a fanfare of marketing and social media comms. Thorough review of any public facing communications promoting the campaign should be undertaken to ensure compliance with relevant promotion and advertising regulations. Some territories may have specific regulations on how you can promote and market NFTs.

Panel: How do we build the metaverse and what are the technologies that underpin it?

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