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Hosted by Linqto's Chief Strategy Officer Karim Nurani, The Global Investor Podcast is explicitly designed for accredited investors. Each episode is an opportunity to stay informed, hear from like-minded individuals, and learn from successful business executives.  Join us as we take this educational and engaging journey to find some of the most passionate entrepreneurs and interesting pre-IPO companies from around the globe.

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Private Investing Made Simple

May 25, 2021

In part 1 of this podcast, Karim Nurani talks with Joshua Fairfield of Washington and Lee University School of Law. Prof. Fairfield is an internationally recognized law and technology scholar, who specializes in all things digital. His current research focuses on big data privacy protection, cryptocurrencies, and the development of virtual communities to maximize people's potentials and achievements.

In his latest book, Runaway Technology, Prof. Fairfield demonstrates how we can create the kind of laws that are better suited to dealing with the challenges and dangers posed by corporate surveillance, artificial intelligence, deep fakes, genetic modification, automation, and more.

In this podcast, we explore two major themes:

Law and Language
Law is a constantly-evolving language-generating process; it progresses by creating new languages to determine how we will cooperate to solve the problems of the future. 

The IP industry offers a transitional case in point. IP regulators tried to manage copyright violations for digital artifacts by determining that you should only license them, not own them. But at the same time, there were exploding markups in payments for unique in-game objects, which totally overwhelmed the legal frameworks. Blockchain technology and NFTs are resolving most of those difficulties.

Language and Gaming

Gaming is a really great linguistic environment, because it establishes a strong context for people to use language. If you want to learn a new language, try playing the role of an in-game healer on a foreign language game platform. Healers are the characters who have to keep track of what's going on all over the place, and they need to be able to explain it to everyone. It’s an excellent way to experience in-context learning!

About Our Guest:

Prof. Joshua Fairfield is an internationally recognized law and technology scholar, who specializes in all things digital. 

He has written extensively on what he terms “the crisis of digital ownership”, raising the alarm on technology’s annexation  of our property and privacy rights, as we risk becoming digital peasants who are owned by software and advertising companies, not to mention overreaching governmental agencies. His latest research focuses on the regulatory oversight of e-commerce and online contracts and the next generation of legal applications for cryptocurrencies.

In his most recent book, “Runaway Technology: Can Law Keep Up?”,  Prof. Fairfield calls the bluff of the Silicon Valley’s barons and mandarins who claim that the law can never support the pace of rampant technological change. On the contrary, he says, law can certainly keep up and stay the course, precisely because it is a type of technology - a carefully-specified social system constructed by humans out of cooperative fictions like firms, nations, and money.    

The ongoing tension between technology designers and lawyers can perhaps be attributed to the fact that they are both tasked with precisely defining how the world is to work, but they use radically different languages to do it. The engineering nuances of Python and VHDL are balanced by the legal precision of pronominal adverbs like whereof and thereafter, and arcane terms of art like promissory estoppel and ceteris paribus.  

Joshua is well-placed to straddle the gulf between these two disciplines, having been a software technology entrepreneur in the language-learning field before taking up the law. He has used his unique synthesizing skills to advise US government on policy matters of digital national security, online civil liberties, and global research ethics for virtual communities. 

Prof. Fairfield studied at Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago Law School, and for the last fourteen years has been on the faculty of Washington and Lee University School of Law.  

Episode Resources:

  • Fairfield, J. A. (2021). Runaway Technology: Can Law Keep Up?. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fairfield, J. A. (2017). Owned: Property, privacy, and the new digital serfdom. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fairfield, Joshua. “Tokenized: The Law of Non-Fungible Tokens and Unique Digital Property.” SSRN, Sociology Research Network, 7 Apr. 2021,
  • Fairfield, Joshua. “Runaway Technology - Can Law Keep Up?” Joshua Fairfield, 2021,


About Our Host:

Karim Nurani
Investor and Entrepreneur
Chief Strategy Officer, Linqto

Fearless innovator. Perpetual student. Equal parts irrepressible and curious, always scanning the horizon for a better way. This is how Karim Nurani is routinely described by those who know him best.

This particular handful of traits has served him exceedingly well across three decades as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. It’s a journey marked by the formation and successful guidance of over a hundred startups from mining to process manufacturing, leadership in a number of top venture firms, and lucrative forays into markets as diverse as IoT, GreenTech, SAAS, and FinTech. His special power is a rare ability to embrace the multiplicity of perspectives and mindsets that coexist in the business realm—entrepreneur, executive, investor; early-stage, IPO, and established enterprise.

A great believer in the law of mutual attraction, he puts great stake in relationships with like-minded thinkers across sectors and around the globe—an endless source of inspiration, knowledge, and exciting opportunity.

Find Karim on LinkedIn 

About Our Linqto Private Investing:

To continue learning about digital assets and trends in private investing, we also invite you to register for our Global Investor Conference, taking place on June 22nd, 2021.

Linqto enables accredited investors to invest in pre-IPO companies like Tealium and Standard Cognition in a matter of minutes using our mobile-app or website. We invite you to sign-up on the Linqto website or on our free app on your Apple or Android device.

About This Podcast:

This podcast and related links are for education and entertainment purposes only. Linqto does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of any links and information provided in correlation with this podcast. Any action taken by the listener or reader, which is based upon the information provided in the podcast or related links, is strictly at the individual’s risk.