Crypto lawyers will play an increasingly important role in Web3 companies, particularly as FTX implodes and the industry braces for regulatory turmoil, two legal academics believe.
Boston Law School professor and chief compliance officer of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp Thomas Hook told Cointelegraph that Web3 lawyers will soon become “business differentiators” as they face the daunting task of helping companies navigate legal uncertainties and regulations.
This will ultimately determine how quickly companies can get their products and services to market, Hook explained:
“Given the lack of clarity in many regulations and the complexity, Web3 companies will continue to need legal and compliance representatives to support them. These types of individuals are becoming business differentiators as they can help or hinder a company in getting to market quickly in a legal and compliant manner.
“Without them, companies could face setbacks as regulators are trying to gain control over the industry,” Hook added.
Senior Researcher Dr. Aaron Lane of RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub told Cointelegraph that in the current environment, Web3 companies should play it safe and seek legal advice where appropriate.
“Entrepreneurs are used to making decisions in conditions of economic uncertainty, but they are not so good at operating in conditions of legal uncertainty.”
Lane explained that the pace of blockchain-based innovation coupled with more than 50 independent digital asset bills recently introduced in the US Congress further illustrates the need.
He believes some of Web3’s best lawyers will come from the business law sector, which is a “crucial” foundation for lawyers in the cryptocurrency field.
“A good Web3 lawyer will be a good commercial lawyer. The best Web3 lawyers in the field today started out as commercial lawyers of one sort or another, and I expect the fundamental foundations will continue to be crucial.
“Knowledge of the technologies that make up the Web3 stack will be increasingly in demand over the next decade,” Lane stressed, however.
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For now, however, the industry remains “very niche,” according to CryptoRecruit founder Neil Dundon.
Lane added that much of the legal representation for Web3 companies is provided by outside counsel rather than in-house attorneys who specialize more in financial services and securities law cases.