Institutions and crypto investors seek an alternative to fiat due to the ongoing economic downturn. Crypto companies are hunting for legal talent. Players are looking to the legal profession for advice they need to stay on the right side of the law.
There’s growing evidence showing that the crypto market is experiencing an upsurge in interest. An in Bloomberg Law shows crypto companies are ‘getting off the regulatory fence.’ They are hiring the best legal minds. The publication said after it interviewed several experts in the industry. Coinbase recently hired the former Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal to lead its legal team as it prepares to go public.
Double the Legal Team
After interviewing several players in the industry, the consensus was that there is increased in-house hiring in the crypto industry. This could continue rising in the near future because the market is gradually pushing towards the mainstream. Kraken’s Chief Legal Officer of Marco Santori specifically told Bloomberg Law his company would double the legal team in 2021. According to Santori:
“Crypto companies are serious about participating in the international discourse around the development of crypto law.”
Viewed Crypto and Blockchain with Curiosity
The activities of leading crypto companies this year has shown the likelihood of crypto going into the mainstream. News is circulating that Coinbase is preparing for listing and that JPMorgan Chase took on Coinbase and Gemini as customers. Similarly, there has been a general increase in crypto from institutional investors. International payment processor PayPal was also recently hiring crypto talent.
The early days of blockchain and crypto were characterized by matters technology. From the viewpoint of most startup founders and entrepreneurs, legal issues were placed on the back burner. Also, most regulators around the world viewed crypto and blockchain with curiosity. Most sector advocates believed at the time that crypto deals belonged outside the legal frameworks. Former corporate lawyer and President of legal tech company BlockDrop then stated:
“We see the opportunity for law firms to develop crypto expertise as a practical reality […] while it may not be the goal of every firm today to assist clients with cryptocurrency transactions […] raising setting, the educational focus of blockchain and crypto-centric legal reference materials such as our Legal Dictionary. […] interactive repository is valuable resources for law firms and in-house counsel to understand what is going on in the industry.”
Lack of Specific Laws
In the meantime, a definite regulatory framework is absent in most countries. Ripple’s General Counsel Stuart Alderoty told Bloomberg Law that the industry needs “smart regulation that both recognizes and fosters the potential of this technology.” Santori says the current lack of specific laws makes the crypto industry especially engaging for lawyers who “enjoy an intellectual challenge.