There seems to be no shortage of bitcoin entrepreneurs or investors getting new ideas and new technology on the market, but showing all parties how NextGen payments and banking incumbents can cooperate, or even just coexist, within today’s society and under its terms is perhaps a job best left for the lawyers.
Bitcoin isn’t just magical Internet money anymore; the bitcoin technology provides the infrastructure for innovations in record keeping, smart contracts and asset distribution, among other things that could weave the fabric of a new financial system if developers can start to minimize the gap between the bitcoin consumer and the average consumer.
As such, legal and regulatory experience have begun to materialize as vital skills in this current bitcoin economy. They are the backbone of compliance functions and paramount in managing and monitoring the policies, processes and risks of the businesses building the ecosystem.
There’s $317m invested in cryptocurrency startups worldwide, $60m of it from Q3 of this year alone. For Boost VC, one of the most prominent bitcoin startup accelerators, companies that provide services meant to support the ecosystem are of high priority. Such companies, founder and CEO Adam Draper says, are mostly based in compliance and bridging the tech gap.
“If you think about email, television, airplanes, all these technological innovations – people benefit from them all the time but most of the world doesn’t understand how they work, I don’t understand how they work,” said David Berger, chief executive of the Digital Currency Council.
“We have to live in the world we live in. It’s the lawyers, accountants and finance folks – working closely with innovative entrepreneurs – that are going to be helping us integrate bitcoin into society.”
That integration is an issue that Berger said is only getting bigger as more jurisdictions consider regulations and more entrepreneurs try bringing the bitcoin opportunity to mainstream users.
“The supply of attorneys with the expertise to advise clients on bitcoin-related matters is already well outstripped by the demand,” he added. “And the demand is growing each day.”