Like the advent of the internet, blockchain technology is disrupting and revolutionizing the way we interact with each other across the world. One well-known application of blockchain technology is in the financial realm, popularly known as "cryptocurrency" (i.e. "crypto"). Though vastly more complex, for the uninitiated crypto can be described as digital money that is borderless, nearly impossible to corrupt, and can be traded 24/7/365. The first, and consequently the most well-known, cryptocurrency is "Bitcoin," which has served as an enduring proof-of-concept. Since then many more cryptocurrencies have been developed that each seek to optimize or innovate on Bitcoin's success in unique ways. For example, certain cryptocurrencies have "smart-contract" functionality that permit the development of financial exchanges similar to the NASDAQ, but which are completely autonomous, decentralized, and incapable of external interference. Another fascinating development is the creation of virtual real estate of the kind envisioned in the popular sci-fi book and movie Ready Player One. Truly, we are moving fast into the future.
Cryptocurrencies now present both a lucrative and risky investment opportunity for early adopters and a regulatory nightmare for governments, many of which have struggled to fit crypto into the existing (and outdated) legal framework. For those with the fortitude and technical know-how to interact with cryptocurrencies, it can be tough to find legal professionals who understand the technology and its uses as well as who are familiar with the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape that may affect you. Under what circumstances does investment in crypto create a tax obligation or reporting requirement? How can crypto succession be addressed in a new or existing estate plan? Can crypto be used as collateral for a loan or can it legally be used directly to fund a major purchase? A number of seemingly basic questions about our interactions with this new technology still have yet to be addressed in the United States and in practice.
This law firm seeks to help. Presently, here are the major cryptocurrency-related services we provide:
Creating personalized digital estate plans that incorporate crypto and other digital assets
Representing personal representatives, executors, trustees, heirs, beneficiaries, and other interested persons whose probate estates or trusts involve accounting for and managing digital assets such as crypto
Drafting contracts in which cryptocurrencies are to be used as collateral or as consideration
Representing clients in tax court with complex tax issues surrounding investment in cryptocurrencies
Counseling regarding crypto-related tax strategies and consequences
Counseling businesses who wish to adopt cryptocurrencies as a form of payment
As the prevalence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies explodes, new issues and legal matters are likely to be encountered. If you have a potential legal issue related to cryptocurrencies or blockchain, contact us today to schedule a consultation to see if we can assist you! Also check out our blog where we comment on some of the new legal issues and developments in the crypto-community.