Grant Gulovsen, a U.S.-based attorney whose clients include both startups and investors who are actively involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, has released a series of free security token-related courses on YouTube entitled the “Security Token Crash Course.”
A licensed attorney since 1998, Grant was a partner in a civil and commercial litigation firm until 2013, when he decided to start his own practice. “That was the same year I bought my first bitcoin,” according to Grant.
The attorney began representing clients in the crypto space in 2017 and worked with several projects launching ICOs in the run up to the peak of 2017 as well as the crash of 2018. Grant also represented clients raising funds via traditional exempt offerings and STOs, and he noticed towards the end of 2018 that many of the same people who had previously condemned STOs as some sort of Wall Street conspiracy were now suddenly calling themselves “STO experts” in response to the bear ICO market, despite having no understanding of what a compliant security token offering involves.
“I was very concerned about what I was seeing, both in terms of the potential negative impact it would have on the security token industry as well as on these individuals who naively thought they could swap ‘STO’ for ‘ICO’ in their LinkedIn profile and continue doing business as usual.”
When asked why he felt so strongly about it, Grant said, “The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry has offered me some of the most rewarding opportunities I have ever had in my professional career. I can honestly say that it was only after starting down this career path that I’ve ever really enjoyed the practice of law. So, I feel obligated to give back any way I can.”
Grant had previously cofounded the semi-satirical ICO review site Tokenicide! in March of 2018 to shine a light on the corruption they were regularly witnessing in the ICO industry. When it comes to STOs, however, he ultimately decided that instead of criticizing people for doing the wrong thing, it would be far more effective to educate them about how to do the right thing.
And so, the Security Token Crash Course was born…
In December of 2018, Grant began preparing a set of basic materials and speaking with the founders and CEOs of about a dozen security token issuance platforms and compliance partners to get up to speed on the state of their latest technology and service offerings. After receiving feedback from many people in his professional network, Grant agreed to offer a live version of his course as part of a membership drive campaign for the Alliance of Blockchain Professionals, a new professional membership organization where he serves as a Council Member.
The response was overwhelming as the ABP received over 150 applications as a result of the course being offered. And based on all the positive feedback he received from students, Grant thought it only made sense to record a version to be made available online for free.
According to Grant, the course is designed for professionals who are familiar with the basics of blockchain and cryptocurrency but not familiar with how the securities laws and regulations fit into the picture. It is not, as some people have suggested, any sort of “security token expert” course. Grant goes so far as to joke about this specific topic in his class, suggesting as follows:
This course may not make you a “security token expert,” but it will make you more knowledgeable than many people who claim to be.
Asked about whether he believes security tokens are the “future of cryptocurrency,” you might be surprised to learn that his answer is “I don’t know, because they haven’t proven themselves yet. What I do know is that if they are treated in the same cavalier fashion as ICOs were treated, they probably won’t be around long enough for anyone to find out.”
Finally, asked whether he has any plans to offer additional courses, Grant indicated that he is in conversations with other legal and compliance professionals, and not just in the US but in several jurisdictions, so the answer is a very likely “Yes.”
If you would like to view the Security Token Crash Course for free online, you can find the complete playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/ playlist?list= PLfUwWSDJOfzub1hbfybus26Ili22j jW8t