Coinme's Terms of Service

Contract Teardown

You can now buy bitcoin from a kiosk at a nearby grocery store, drug store, or mall.  Coinme is a fintech company that advertizes itself as the largest cash-to-crypto network in the world and has partnered with Coinstar and MoneyGram for thousands of locations. Startup attorney and author Paul Swegle explains how Coinme uses a one-sided Terms of Service agreement to protect itself in this new and barely regulated industry.

Questions in this Episode:

  1. Who is liable when you can’t access your account?
  2. Is your bitcoin account insured?
  3. What can you do if transactions or transfers fail?
  4. How strong are Coinme’s disclaimers?
  5. What is the contract drafting lesson from Coinme’s TOS?

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Buying Bitcoin with Coinme

The buying and selling of bitcoin is not subject to the same strict laws and regulations of the banking or brokerage industries. Many financial experts and regulators call crypto currency the wild west of the financial world due to this lack of regulation and oversight.

With Coinme, you can go to your local Coinstar machine, put in cash, and purchase up to $2,500 worth of bitcoin per day. The machine prompts you to open an account and set up a digital wallet to receive your bitcoin. You access your account and wallet online after the purchase.

Or you can use Coinme’s mobile app to buy and sell bitcoin. You do part of the transaction on the app and complete the rest when you go to Moneygram and bring cash to buy your bitcoin. Or, Moneygram will give you money when you sell your bitcoin.

Coinme’s Terms of Service applies to all your transactions with them and explains what you can and can’t do should things go wrong.

4.3 Access
You acknowledge and agree that from time to time the Services may be inaccessible or inoperable for any reason, including without limitation: (a) equipment or technology malfunctions; (b) periodic maintenance procedures or repairs which Coinme may undertake from time to time; or (c) causes beyond the control of Coinme or which are not reasonably foreseeable by Coinme. Coinme will have no liability or responsibility if for any reason the Services are inaccessible or inoperable or for any impact this inaccessibility or inoperability may have upon you or your use of the Services.

Who Has Liability When You Can’t Access Your Account?

Accessing your account is essential to buy, sell, or store your bitcoin. The terms in Section 4 control your access to your wallet, your tokens, and your account. 

Incredibly, the Terms of Service state that Coinme shall have no liability or responsibility if you cannot access your account even through no fault of yours. If the platform goes down, or the machine malfunctions, or you cannot access your account for any reason, you assume all the risk.

While this might seem like good contract drafting for Coinme, such a severely one-sided clause could draw the attention of regulators. 

Or, a state court might find the clause unconscionable. If that happens, the court has the power to rewrite the clause, and Coinme would likely end up with a much more consumer-friendly clause on this and any other unconscionable clauses.

There is possibility of attracting regulator attention if your terms and conditions are almost unconscionable - Paul Swegle #ContractTeardown Click To Tweet

You are 100% at Risk

The Assumption of Risk section is also one-sided in favor of Coinme. Coinme has you acknowledg there are risks with the purchase, sale, storage, and transfer of tokens. 

Coinme explains that you might have financial losses or someone might steal your tokens. There might be transmission or network disruptions causing your transactions to fail. Someone might steal your information and claim your token. Coinme even tells you that the development of quantum computers may present further risks to your tokens. 

But then you must agree to assume full responsibility for all of these possibilities and further agree that Coinme has no responsibility or liability for any damage or harm to you at all.

You agree to “irrevocably waive, release, and discharge and waive any and all claims” against Coinme or any third-party operator or service. The third-party reference is so you cannot make a claim against Coinstar, Moneygram, or any of Coinme’s other marketing and distribution partners.

The risk is all on you. Banks are insured by the FDIC. Broker-dealers are insured by SIPC, the Security Investors Protection Corporation. 

"Reading the four corners of the document, it is clear that the users' accounts are 100% at risk." Paul Swegle

But, Coinme is not a bank nor a broker-dealer. They are a Money Service Business, and there is no state or federally backed insurance entity for them.

We don’t know if Coinme has professional or other insurance. But, even if they did, it is unlikely they would need to make a claim because of the one-sided terms. While other types of contracts might have similar language, seeing such severe and one-sided language in a fintech contract is particularly concerning.

If a bank or broker-dealer tried to use this language, regulators probably would not stand for it.

When Transactions or Transfers Go Bad

What if there is an error with a transaction or a transfer of bitcoin? What if the error is not caused by the user? Is Coinme obligated to fix the mistake?

Sometimes an error might be caused by the user putting in the wrong information, losing their voucher, not filling out the “know your customer” portion entirely, or having a negative outcome to the anti-money laundering background compliance procedure.

But what if the error is squarely on Coinme?

With more of the same one-sided language, the terms in Section 11.5 Error Correction Attempts state that Coinme does not guarantee or warrant that they will correct any error, whether it was made by you, them, or a third party.

And under this section, they may or may not attempt to fix the error and solely at their discretion. They have no responsibility to do so and no liability for the error or any attempt to correct it.

If you go online, you will notice some customer complaints that Coinme does not address issues quickly. This might be Coinme taking comfort in the protective language of this section. But it is more likely they are experiencing the growing pains of a young start-up company with system and staffing challenges as they expand.

Either way, when a transaction or transfer error is made, Coinme has no responsibility or liability, even if it was their mistake.

Coinme Disclaims Everything

The Disclaimer section continues Coinme’s philosophy of pushing all risk to the user.

Companies usually represent and warrant certain items and disclaim others. You might see warranties that say, “Except as otherwise provided in here…” or “Except as to the warranties above in Section…” and then “…we disclaim all other warranties.”

But Coinme has a blanket disclaimer of all reps and warranties.

"There is absolutely no representation or warranty of any kind, which with a financial service I think is probably overreaching." Paul Swegle

Coinme disclaims that the software or protocols will operate as intended. They disclaim that the system will be free of errors or defects or secure from hacks or otherwise compromised. They disclaim against loss or theft of your tokens.

And Coinme states all tokens are sold, and all services are provided on an “as is,” “where is,” and “as available” basis.

One Sided Indemnification

Many contracts have indemnification clauses where both parties indemnify the other for certain acts or breaches. But not surprisingly, Coinme’s terms call for the user to indemnify Coinme while Coinme does not indemnify the user at all.

"It's one-way indemnification [against the user] simply for using the platform." Paul Swegle

And many companies want the user to indemnify them against the user’s misuse of the system, product, or platform. Here the user is required to defend, indemnify and hold Coinme harmless against the user’s “use of the system or use of the software” – not misuse of the system.

Limitation of Liability

Coinme’s Limitation of Liability is short, blunt, and to the point. The aggregate liability of Coinme, its service providers, and contractors is capped at $100. So this covers Coinme and their marketing partners.

While other companies like Twitter cap their liability at $100, for a fintech company, this seems extremely low. Suppose you put in $10,000, then the system crashes, and you lose all your money. The maximum amount Coinme will pay is $100.

The Contract Drafting Big Picture from Coinme

Outside counsel likely drafted this extremely severe and one-sided agreement. They often believe their job is to protect, protect, protect. And if they don’t, they could be on the hook for malpractice.

But an inside lawyer might sit down with their CEO and show the benefits of a more balanced and less severe Terms of Service agreement. They might explore the benefits of using terms like “good faith” or possibly paying up to $1,000 for a proven loss instead of $100. And, they might explore how the liabilities could be offset by insurance.

A more balanced and even-keeled agreement might serve the company well.

"If I have to deal with regulators, state attorneys general, the Federal Trade Commission... I just don't want to throw a document over to a regulator that I know is not going to be well received" - Paul Swegle

This approach is not in response to customers not doing business because they read the restrictive Terms of Service. Users rarely read Terms of Service. But when a judge or regulator reads a draconian, anti-consumer, one-sided agreement, nothing good will come of it. A judge can rewrite an unconscionable clause in favor of the user. And state and federal regulators might take action against such an agreement and to protect the consumer.

A more balanced Terms of Service agreement is not only better for the user, it is better for the company.

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Show Notes

THE CONTRACT: Coinme’s Terms of Service

THE GUEST: Paul Swegle is an entrepreneurial, sleeves-up general counsel, trusted advisor, and experienced leader who enjoys collaborating to build and launch innovative products. To date, he has helped build and sell startups to ING, Capital One, Abbott, and Nortek, and supported SPAC IPO in 2021. His book, Contract Drafting and Negotiation, can be found at

THE HOST: Mike Whelan is the author of Lawyer Forward: Finding Your Place in the Future of Law and host of the Lawyer Forward community. Learn more about his work for attorneys at

If you are interested in being a guest on Contract Teardown, please email us at


Paul Swegle: [00:00:00] All these sections put all of the risk onto the user, and none of it seemingly on point me.

Intro Voice: [00:00:07] Welcome to the ontract eardown show from  nsider, where legal experts tear down contracts from some of the most well-known companies and high profile executives around the world.

Mike Whelan: [00:00:20] In this episode, experienced startup general counsel and author Paul Swgle turns down the coinMe terms of service CoinMe is a company that allows consumers to buy bitcoin from a kiosk in a grocery store. You can imagine how new many relevant questions are. Paul balances a drafters need to be safe with the hope to not turn off regulators or courts from bitcoin’s wild frontiers. So let’s tear it down.

Paul Swegle: [00:01:01] I’m doing great, Mike. How are you doing today?

Mike Whelan: [00:01:03] I’m OK. I’ve been sick for like the last week, so I apologize to the audience if I sound like a muppet today. But I have been sucking on cough drops like nonstop for the last two days because the signal cannot be stopped. We are going to talk about contracts and the document we are talking about today is this one. Let me share it with you guys. This is the coinmeerms of service. Paul, before we dig into this, tell me what this document is. What is coinme? What is this document for their terms of service?

Paul Swegle: [00:01:33] So Coin Me is a company that allows consumers to buy coin through kiosks at, I think, virtually every grocery store and probably other public places malls. I believe they’re doing this in some partnership with Coinstar. So I think these are all at Coinstar terminals, if I’m not mistaken. And you know, you’re putting cash in, you follow their process and you get bitcoin. And so these are their terms of service that apply to all transactions and all coin account.

Mike Whelan: [00:02:09] So presumably, the way a user is experiencing this is they’re standing at a kiosk, at a Walmart, you know, their kid screaming in the cart and in order for them to buy this, that you know, they’ve got a push, a couple of buttons to say, OK, I’m cool with this. That’s so I assume this is being emailed to them separately. But you know, their primary experience with this is push the button, get out of the store, right?

Paul Swegle: [00:02:31] That’s sort of it. You, you interact with the kiosk, you get a voucher and then in before you put money in, you look at their terms of service and looking at some videos on YouTube, you know, they’re very compressed and you’re scrolling through, you know, just three or four lines of text is what it looked like. But then you do have to take that voucher and go to, you know, backslash redeem, I think, and you then are likely presented again with these terms of service and then you set up a wallet and your coins hopefully appear in your newly established account wallet.

Mike Whelan: [00:03:08] We were always worried about the law companies showing up in Walmart. Turns out it was bitcoin that was taking us out of the grocery store experience. Well, Paul, before we dig into the particulars of the document, tell us about you. What’s your background with this kind of technology? What’s interesting to you in this document?

Paul Swegle: [00:03:28] Well, so I did happen to notice that Coinbase was looking for a general counsel, and so I was a little bit interested in the company and I I went online and did some research. They raised a lot of money recently, so that was a positive. And, you know, I was a little bit interested in bitcoin and being able to buy bitcoin with small amounts of cash. So that was interesting. I did notice on several websites like Trustpilot, Reddit BBB that there were a number of issues with customers having challenges, getting customer service and getting access to their tokens and getting access to refunds. And so I was, you know, slightly, you know, not as interested after I saw that, but I have been general counsel to a dozen tech companies. I’m currently general counsel to three tech companies, two in the virtual health space, one in what we call MarTech Marketing Technology. And I have also been involved in a lot of fintech and financial services. So as general counsel of a company called Share Builder for 12 years, which was the fastest growing online brokerage, then I was. I also worked at AIG Direct when they bought Share Builder. And then he also set up another. I helped set up another fintech company called Zen Bank. So I’m familiar with terms and conditions not only for tech companies, but for fintech and coin me as a fintech. And so I thought it was kind of interesting. I also have written a book that’s pretty popular called contract drafting and Negotiation for entrepreneurs and business professionals in. So I do like contracts a lot. And another book that I’ve written in both of these are used in law schools and MBA schools across the country, start up law and fundraising a much bigger book, but the contract drafting book is, you know, about one hundred and fifty pages. And and I think a pretty good read for anyone who’s working regularly in contracts, whether they’re a lawyer or a business person. That’s right. But yeah, I was invited to participate in contract tear down in the coin me agreement was one I looked at. And as we’ve discussed behind the scenes, I did notice there were a number of provisions that are worth discussing.

Mike Whelan: [00:05:36] Perfect. Well, I appreciate that. And yes, you always have to product place the book.

Paul Swegle: [00:05:42] You say

Mike Whelan: [00:05:43] Check it out. Yeah, you always got to get the book in there. OK, so what we’re going to do, Paul is go through point by point. Some of the some of the sections, I mean, the sense that I got from you was in general a this is the Wild West space. I mean, bitcoin just is. And B, this is pretty one sided because there’s just a lot to protect in this kind of space. And so we’re going to go on that theme through specific points. So what I’m going to do is take you first to four three. There’s this point about access, and I assume this is talking about accessing the tokens. So I I buy the thing. I met the store. I put in my thousand dollars and it says, Hey, you’ve got bitcoin somewhere, but you got to go get it. Tell me about this section. What do you like and not like about this access section?

Paul Swegle: [00:06:27] Well, and again, you know, overall, these terms and conditions or terms of service, they’re very robust. You know, lawyers working in the fintech space might be well advised to take a look at this contract just to get a sense of the overall level of protection and the different areas that are addressed. But but by and large, all of these sections put all of the risk onto the user and none of it seemingly on coin me. And so in this section, this has to do with access to your account, access to your wallet, access to your tokens that you’ve paid for. And essentially, the upshot of this provision is if for any reason, you do not have access. If access is limited or the platforms inoperable, you accept and assume all risk associated with your inability to access your account. And you know, we’ll talk about this later. I don’t know what regulators would think of a provision like this. I don’t know what a judge would think of a provision like this. I understand the sentiment and why they wrote it in such a sort of a severe way. But there’s a possibility one of attracting regulator attention if your terms and conditions are just very, sort of almost unconscionable. And then secondly, a court might rewrite them, right? You know, courts do have some latitude to rewrite unconscionable provisions. If the platform is down, it’s unavailable, and it’s because someone at Coinbase tripped over a plug and pulled the machine down. And it’s just, you know, and it fries and the whole thing is, you know, flat on its back. Is it really in the end, the user’s full risk? You know, and just loss.

Mike Whelan: [00:08:16] Hey, everybody, I’m Mike Walen. I hope you’re enjoying this episode of the contract teardown show. Real quick, I want to ask you to do me slash you really a quick favor. Look down below. You’ll see a discount code to join the Law Insider Premium subscription. When you do that, you get access to more content like this. You’ll see webinars daily tips on contract drafting. Not to mention access to the world’s largest database of sample contracts and clauses. It will help you write better contracts faster if you want to do it. Right now, there’s a code below, so get there. Also, if you’re part of a larger team, if you’re in-house or in a law firm, just email us where it’s salesLawInsiderCom will make sure you get a deal as well. Come join us in the community. The code is below. Let’s get back to the show.

Paul Swegle: [00:09:24] Well, you know, it’s common to see this type of language in other contexts like SAS and just everywhere you see it. But but it’s particularly concerning with financial services with fintech. If this was a broker dealer or if this was a bank, I don’t think they would be writing half of this because regulators just probably wouldn’t stand for it. When I was, you know, it regulated entities, we just always had in mind this regulatory context that. We may want to write it really one sided, but at the risk of it being rewritten or at the risk of it attracting regulatory ire, maybe we should balance this or at least use words like good faith or, you know, best commercial efforts. There’s some of that, but maybe maybe a one or two places, but certainly not here where it just says you hereby irrevocably waive release and discharge any and all claims, whether known or unknown to you against , any third party operator, blah blah blah for essentially any risks set forth here. In just the words any of the risks set forth here, and it’s all the risks that your money is, your coins are stolen and the system goes down that your account is closed, that they can’t fix a mistake. It’s just all on you. I don’t think I’m misreading it. And, you know, just it’s a little in the law. I think we would apply the word draconian.

Mike Whelan: [00:10:55] Yeah. Side note and you may not know this. Does insurance exist to protect against the risks that are associated with with this kind of thing because it feels like when comparing to other, you know, financial goods, right when people are buying financial services and in the banking system, I mean, you can get insurance for for these kinds of risks, but I’m sure it will exist soon if it doesn’t exist yet. But I don’t. I don’t think it exists yet.

Paul Swegle: [00:11:22] No, as we all know federally, you know, bank accounts are essentially federally insured in brokerage accounts are insured through a fund, an insurance fund called CIPC Securities Insurance Protection Corporation, I think. And so in this little bit more Wild West  is regulated as I think, as a money service business and MSB. And there is currently, to my knowledge, no state or federal insurance scheme for these funds. Now, interestingly, you know, we don’t know whether or not Coin Me has insurance and their insurance that they would have perhaps would be some sort of professional liability insurance, but we don’t know about that. And they’re certainly protecting themselves to the best of their ability that they wouldn’t have to make claims against any available insurance. So these are uninsured accounts and to, you know, the four corners of the documents suggest strongly that, you know, the users are at 100 percent risk and that risk may or may not ever come to pass. But it is. It is the way it’s drafted on. All risk is on the users.

Mike Whelan: [00:12:37] Yeah. And to your point about having read about service issues and let’s jump down to 11 five, we’re talking about error correction. Attempts to oin me provides no guarantee or warranty that any such attempt will be successful and we’ll have no responsibility or liability for the error. What do you think of that section?

Paul Swegle: [00:12:56] It’s kind of more of the same, and it kind of puts me back, you know, in roles where I’ve had where maybe it wasn’t an era of my company technically, but something happened with a software rollout and company went down during market hours and caused, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of losses, potentially. And just being a regulated entity, knowing knowing that the regulators would be watching how we handled this, we pulled together a task force that I headed up and I was given more than a quarter million dollars to work with to reach out to 9000 customers and talk to them, email with them one by one. I had a task force of like 25 customer care agents. We addressed every individual customer. How do you think this impacted you? What do you think the losses? How can we fix it in with language like this? You know, maybe they’re a little bit too comfortable that they don’t have to go to those steps, those those lengths, if there’s an issue, but maybe they do. But if you look online, there are sort of a pattern that issues are not addressed as quickly as customers would like them to be. And I don’t know if they’re taking comfort from these terms and conditions or as I suspect they’re just growing. There’s they have staffing challenges, they have system challenges. It’s probably not as a mature of a system or a, you know, an organization as they would like to be, and they’re doing the best they can. But needless to say, there’s complaints that are showing up online about support and fixing mistakes, fixing errors and a lot of the errors maybe by the customers inputting bad information, losing their little voucher, you know, having problems in their background that show up under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Right. So they’re they’re not getting through the know your customer, you know, process and it may or may not be Coinbase’s fault. But there’s a perception online that they the remedies aren’t fast enough and sufficient enough, it seems, in some cases.

Mike Whelan: [00:14:57] Well, take me back down to 17 to the disclaimers of warranties. Again, all caps, no warranties. It’s as is. Is this common in this kind of business in a financial services business to make a disclaimer? Warranties, it’s that broad.

Paul Swegle: [00:15:13] No, I would say probably not, because normally you would have some language where, you know, it’s clear what they will do and maybe they might, they might not stay state rep and warrant that your account will be secure. We warrant that your transactions will be affected faithfully as requested. But there’s certainly an implied regulatory obligation to do those things. And then you might see disclaimers of warranties that say as except as otherwise provided in here or except as to the warranties above in section blah, blah blah. We disclaim all other warranties. This is just a blanket disclaimer of all representations of warranties of any kind that the platform will perform, that transactions will be processed as you would expect them to be. Essentially, it is as is, which means with all faults and as available. So there’s absolutely no representation or warranty of any kind, which with a financial service, I think that probably is more overreaching. You know, I think if I look, I didn’t look at PayPal, but I’m not sure that, you know, I don’t know that they would make as strong of a disclaimer of reps and warranties, but I could be mistaken. But a bank or a broker dealer, I don’t think would.

Mike Whelan: [00:16:34] And I’m so curious. Like, what would PayPal have said in, you know, 1997 or whatever year they started when they were dealing with all the operational crises that coin me is probably dealing with versus their phase now? And will regulators like give them the benefit of the doubt and say, Well, you guys are new, it’s fine. And the answer is probably not jumping down to 18 indemnification again, the one sidedness, but what do you see in in this section?

Paul Swegle: [00:17:03] Well. This clause has some language I’ve been seeing in other agreements lately, and it essentially requires the user to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the company. Against the user’s use of the system or use of the software, it was previously more common that it would stay. Misuse of the system. Misuse of the software. Changing of the software. Using the software. The system in ways that were not intended. But here you have to indemnify and defend and hold harmless coin me from any claims relating to you’re simply using the system as it’s designed. That strikes me as as a bit of an overreach. Whenever I see that in contracts that I’m negotiating, either strike it out or I say, you know, all of them, you for it will indemnify each other for our breaches of the reps and warranties and obligations we each have under this agreement. And then it’s more even handed. Right. But there’s no indemnification by them of users for anything. And the one that’s usually at least made is is the claims regarding intellectual property, because even end users of a platform that infringes someone else’s patent can theoretically be sued right under patent infringement. But it’s a one way indemnification simply for using the platform. And then it goes even further. It says that they coin me, and it’s and it also the kiosks are run by a third party. I think that might be Coinstar Coin Coin Me gets to control the defense of any such claim. So they’re in charge of it. So even though you’re paying for it as a user, theoretically, you’re not in charge of how well they defend the claim. And they also can settle it in their own discretion. So pretty one sided all across the board, merely for use. The system bit of an overreach. It strikes me as

Mike Whelan: [00:19:15] I like the word theoretically applied there. And finally, the last section we’ll talk about before getting the big picture is 19 limitation of liability. What about that one?

Paul Swegle: [00:19:25] Well, in some there liability is limited to $100 to the user. And and it’s and that was paragraph 19, you said yes. So it’s to the fullest extent of the law. So they realize this might not fly. Maybe in no event will the aggregate liability of coin me or any of its service providers, i.e. the kiosk provider, whether in contract warranty, tort, including negligence, whether active, passive or imputed, blah blah blah. Will the liability exceed one dollars? So just for whatever, if you put in $10000 in the system crashes and somehow your coins are stolen or what have you because of some negligence, they will owe you one hundred dollars. Hmm. By contract. Now, whether that would fly, whether they would actually do that, sometimes, you know, companies write in very stern draconian provisions and they they don’t really maybe intend to enforce them. But I always tell people and you know, the other side of contract it, you know, assume the other party will enforce everything and assume the worst.

Mike Whelan: [00:20:33] Well, they way put it in like, I want to think big picture with this because it’s an interesting yes, it’s a document. Yes, there are best practices for terms of services ultra, but we’re dealing with a pretty weird context. You know, the bitcoin context is is very like you and I talked about, it’s very wild west. Take me to the mind of the drafting attorney in this scenario, given that it is so Wild West. I feel inclined to say, Well, I’m just going to be overly protective. I to be kind of crazy in here. I’m going to limit liability at $100, because why the heck not? What would be the other argument? Why would I say, let me create a document that’s not so one sided that gives more leeway to the person who’s probably not going to read this until there’s trouble? Why draft differently than this?

Paul Swegle: [00:21:21] Well, so my guess is that an outside lawyer wrote this, not someone in in in the company, and that’s supported by the fact that they’re currently looking for a general counsel, which to me suggests they don’t have any lawyers in house. And so they had outside counsel. Write this Outside counsel. You know, their job, their job is to protect, protect, protect, and when they don’t, they can be they can be on the hook for malpractise liability. So outside lawyers tend to be more conservative. An in-house lawyer might sit down with the CEO and go line by line over this and say, Do you care if I put in good faith right here that will not only commercially reasonable but in good faith and is that will try and fix these mistakes? Do you care if you know we, you know, we don’t cap liability at 100 bucks, but you know, maybe we go up to a thousand dollars for a proven loss. Right? Some kind of guarantee like, you know, we’ve got you and then make sure that we have insurance to cover that and talk with my insurance carrier to make sure we can make that promise. So. And that really isn’t maybe just because a customer one out of a customers sees it and says, I’m not getting bitcoin, here are these terms and conditions are too harsh. I don’t know that many people read them and know how one sided this is. But I think regulators, if I if I have to deal with regulators, states Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission would also potentially regulate them. You know, I just don’t want to throw a document over to a regulator that I know is probably not going to be well-received. And if something is challenged in court, as I mentioned earlier, if something’s really unconscionable, a court can throw it out and I think can rewrite its kind of state by state law. And so if I strike a balance that’s a little more even keel, maybe I feel a little more inoculated from potential court action, avoiding a provision and potentially rewriting it in a far more consumer friendly way. You know, I I understand why they wrote it this way. It’s probably working just fine for them. But those are the concerns that I would have about it is that a third party, like a court or a state or federal regulator takes exception to it somewhere or another brings an investigation that they might not have brought.

Mike Whelan: [00:23:55] Right. And to your point, I mean, when they’ve got somebody who’s internal who’s thinking about the big picture and the the ecosystem that they’re trying to create really with the Web 3.0 stuff, I mean, it’s it’s it is the Wild West. They’re creating this frontier as they go. And so it might be rewritten later to be a little more community driven because it, you know, this area really does have this sort of sense of community. It’s not this detached banking environment, so it’ll be interesting to see where that goes. Paul, I appreciate you walking through this. We will have this document available over at lresources for people who want to get in touch with you and learn more about what what you’re doing, what your work is, what’s the best way to reach out to you?

Paul Swegle: [00:24:39] Well, I can be found on LinkedIn. Again, it’s Paul Swegle. I can be emailed at, and my two books are obviously available 24 seven on Amazon.

Mike Whelan: [00:24:56] That is the modern account. It’s funny because 10 years ago we’d have had this conversation about how weird Amazon was that now we’re talking about freaking bitcoin. Well, I appreciate you joining us. Like I said, all of this information, including Paul’s contact information, will be available at If you want to be a contributor on the contract, teardown show can beat up some contracts. As Paul and I did, then just email us. We’re at We look forward to seeing you guys at the next episode, Paul. Thank you again. Have a good day.


Paul Swegle
Paul Swegle
General Counsel and Secretary
Mike Whelan
Mike Whelan
CEO @Lawyer Forward

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Entertainment attorney Julia Holt joins the Contract Teardown to discuss a license agreement between entertainment superstar Cardi B and an innovative alcohol brand.