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ICBLA Honors John Deaton with the Defender of Freedom Award
[September 25, 2023]

ICBLA Honors John Deaton with the Defender of Freedom Award

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Congress of Blockchain Legal Advisors is proud to introduce the Defender of Freedom Award, an accolade that celebrates individuals and entities that have gone above and beyond in their quest to uphold freedom in the crypto community.  The award comes with a $5,000 prize.

ICBLA is honored to present the inaugural Defender of Freedom Award to visionary crypto attorney, John Deaton.

ICBLA is honored to present the inaugural Defender of Freedom Award to a truly deserving recipient, John Deaton. Deaton's visionary strategy enabled digital asset owners to intercede against SEC enforcement actions, a pioneering approach that served as a protective shield against the SEC's overreaching tactics. With an unwavering commitment to justice and freedom, Deaton represented tens of thousands of XR holders in SEC v. Ripple Labs et al., offering his legal expertise pro bono.  The practical effect of his groundbreaking work was evident when Judge Torres's landmark summary judgment decision cited Deaton's amicus brief, underscoring the impact of his intervention.

"The Defender of Freedom award is unique in the crypto world," says Daniel Payne, an ICBLA senior fellow. "It represents a commitment to safeguarding the very essence of the crypto world– the freedom to innovate, grow, and transform the global business landscape.  We applaud John's creation of a new paradigm: federal judges now grapple with non-party tokenholders early and often."

Deaton, upon receiving the award, expressed gratitude and reiterated the significance of continued advocacy. "Receiving this award is not just an honor for me, but a testament to what we, as a collective community, can achieve when we stand together against inequity. Together, we can ensure that the future of crypto is both innovative and just."

Prominent securities lawyer James Murphy, widely followed for crypto law commentary as MetaLawMan, commented: "I can't think of a better choice for the Defender of Freedom award.  John represents something in short supply in our society—a real, authentic hero.  At considerable cost to himself, John gave a voice to tens of thousands of people in the crypto community who had been badly mistreated by the SEC.  That voice was heard loud and clear by the Judge in the Ripple case and justice was done.  John's selfless service is in the finest traditions of the Marine Corps where he retired as a Major.  He lives the motto—Semper Fi—always faithful." 

ICBLA is committed to guiding the crypto community through these uncertain times, continuously promoting education, clarity, and the protection of freedoms supporting this digital revolution.


The International Congress of Blockchain Legal Advisors (ICBLA) is the world's first global organization dedicated to the study of legal and regulatory matters related to the global expansion of blockchain.

By collaborating with thought leaders, regulators, and legislative bodies, ICBLA aims to develop legal frame- works and strategies that promote the growth and adoption of blockchain and digital assets.

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