Amor Sexton is a Lawyer in a commercial law firm based in Sydney, Australia and is widely recognized as Australia’s first Digital Currency Lawyer.
The firm, Adroit Lawyers, mainly represents technology-related businesses, though they do have clients from the traditional sectors such as mining, manufacturing and engineering. The common trend for most of her clients is that they are innovative in the way they harness technology.
Sexton says that she has a number of clients who are commercializing blockchain technology. She has also advised the Bitcoin industry groups on regulatory issues and has liaised with policy makers and regulators to get a clearer understanding of how the existing legal framework applies to bitcoin.
She noted that Australia has an established framework into which bitcoin may be positioned, but it wasn’t quite clear where the different players in the ecosystem fit into that framework.
She says “blockchain technology has so many potential commercial uses. For example, Bitcoin itself is both a currency and a payment system. This makes it very difficult for a bitcoin or blockchain business to fit neatly into existing legal categories”.
Sexton says she initially learned about Bitcoin from her tech clients, who tend to keep her up-to-date on developments on the tech scene. At the time, she says, her firm did not pay as much attention to the digital currency as it should have. “We definitely should have bought some Bitcoin then,” added Sexton.
Sexton recalls representatives of a company walking through the door in 2013, saying that they needed lawyers to set up their Bitcoin business. In addition to acting as their lawyer, Sexton took a stake in the company, because “we have to put our money where our mouth is”.
This started Sexton’s journey into a world where “finance and technology collide, and new innovations are launched daily”. Bitcoin requires “constant education”, says Sexton.
When advising businesses, professionals need to understand the technology, and how technological improvements or updates will impact the legal approach. “In this field, companies aren’t just a tech platform – they are FinTech companies and regulation will apply. Figuring out how it applies is the hard part”.
“Also,” she added, “advisers shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box…Bitcoin is so unique that we can’t always use existing categories to categorize Bitcoin, and that’s okay. Professionals, many of whom are used to one way of thinking, will need to adjust.”