George Frost

Experienced Fintech legal and business advisor

George Frost

Experienced Fintech legal and business advisor

Biography

After obtaining a law degree from UC’s Hastings School of Law, Mr. Frost practiced at the founding Bay Area offices of Perkins Coie, LLC, focusing on media and new media (later dubbed “internet”) law, IP, antitrust, and other complex commercial issues and litigation.  During this period (the mid-to-late 1990s) he represented major business and old media clients (including Knight Ridder, Hearst Publishing, NBC, and Gannett) and numerous then-fledgling startups (Yahoo).

In 1999, Mr. Frost co-founded a successful boutique law firm, Hosie, Frost, Large & McArthur.  At the Hosie Frost firm, Mr. Frost filed the first successful nationwide class action suit for copyright infringement on behalf of freelance authors against the giant data base compilers who were simply stealing their work and re-selling it without permission (we needed bitcoin or xrp back then as a proactive solution – a means to make transactional micropayments).  During this period Mr. Frost continued his practice as a generalist advisor and litigator, and won victories for his clients in the areas of securities fraud, business torts, and commercial disputes, and continued to advise clients in commercial transactions, IP, governance and the like.  Among the significant litigation victories Hosie Frost obtained for its clients were Hawaii v. Chevron (antitrust case), Burst.com v. Microsoft (trade secrets case — $60 million settlement plus ongoing licensing) and State of Louisiana v Chevron ($111 million jury verdict for royalty fraud, changed royalty basis going forward).  Mr. Frost left his partnership several years ago, and as a solo lawyer has since specialized in investing in and advising start-ups and angel/early funds on a full range of issues.  He was active in creative commons solutions and the open source movement, and co-founded companies that remain active in delivering technology solutions to non-profits such as the ACLU, politicians (Jerry Brown for governor) and government agencies (the US House of Representatives, the Smithsonian, etc.).

At present Mr. Frost is a founding director and CLO for GateHub Ltd., a newly minted financial services company being built upon the Ripple protocol.  GateHub believes the Ripple ecosystem is the most robust and viable distributed protocol available today, but gateway developers face high technical costs (to design secure and user-friendly systems and hire coders to build them) and regulatory hurdles (licensing, cybersecurity audits, customer verification “KYC”, anti-fraud monitoring and AML compliance, etc.) that add to the costs and complexity of developing gateways and consumer-facing financial products.   GateHub is developing a comprehensive “turnkey” solution to all these problems (compliance, identity, smart contract implementation and standardized trading technology) and will offer its services via a private cloud offering to an association of exchanges and gateways worldwide.  Mr. Frost currently also serves as counsel and as a board member for the Bitstamp group, including the world’s largest US dollar denominated bitcoin exchange, whom he has represented since its inception.  Another major client in this space has been Ripple Labs, where he served as external general counsel in the formative days.

Mr. Frost taught media/ new media law as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco Law School, and has served as special counsel to the California Senate Judiciary Committee on competition issues.  Prior to law school, Mr. Frost worked as a bare-knuckled news reporter for more than a decade at various “old media” publications, including the San Francisco Examiner (during the days when Hunter S. Thompson was a resident political columnist), the Anchorage Daily News (where he was chief political reporter), and Newsweek magazine.

Why fintech?   At certain aha moments in our historical development, technology seems to reach out to us, holding a golden key.  This is one such moment.  (So was the internet protocol, most recently.)  

I want to do my part to exploit this fast-emerging technology to build a smarter, fairer, safer, cheaper and more democratic system for engaging in commercial activities – moving and exchanging money, buying and selling goods and services, making contracts, resolving disputes, offering or obtaining credit, creating and policing open governance systems — while better protecting privacy and our core civil liberties.   

Make no mistake – no protocol or blockchain technology is, in itself, a panacea.  It can turn in a totalitarian nightmare, as demonstrated by developments in China, Russia and to some degree, Snowden’s USA.  
But if we don’t fight for the better nature of this powerful new technology, who will?  JP Morgan?

All session by George Frost