Crypto Lawyers Are In Hot Demand As The Industry Goes Mainstream, Experts Say

With the establishment of cryptocurrency markets, companies have started looking for legal talents.

According to a recent Bloomberg Law article, since the various cryptocurrencies are moving out of the regulatory gray markets, legal hiring may soon get hot in demand. The Bloomberg publication interviewed various experts following the news of Coinbase. It said that Paul Grewal, the former vice-president and deputy general counsel of Facebook, was tapped as their legal team leader by Coinbase.

The consensus is that the number of in-house hires of legal advisers in the cryptocurrency market is likely to scale up significantly, very shortly. This is because of the active push to the market in the financial mainstream.

To be specific, the Chief Legal Officer of the Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken, Marco Santori, informed Bloomberg that they are going to double the company’s legal team by 2021. He sees cryptocurrencies being serious about participating in international discourses surrounding the development of crypto law. To this, he added, that the current lack of specific laws is making the industry very appealing, especially for the lawyers who are experiencing an active intellectual challenge. 

Mentioning the 2016 acquisition of the blockchain startup Glidera, Santori said that Kraken has been remarkably efficient in acquisitions in the past and will continue the legacy. He focused on aggressive hiring and inclined towards the legal advisers.

There is no definitive legal framework in most countries until now, and they are trying to work on it through different experts and advisers. Stuart Alderoty, Ripple’s General Counsel, stressed his point in a conversation with the Bloomberg journalists that the industry is in urgent need of smart regulation, which both fosters and recognizes the potential of this technology.  

2020 has seen many vital examples indicating the entry of Crypto markets in the financial mainstream. News is circulating about Coinbase getting listed on the stock exchanges. If this happens, it would be the first time a crypto exchange would be listed on conventional markets. There is also news that a new legal counsel lead was brought in Coinbase to maintain good relations with financial regulators.

Institutional investors have increased their crypto investments significantly in recent years.

Gemini and Coinbase have been taken as customers by JP Morgan Chase. It has even built a self blockchain settlement service, with its own US-Dollar backed token, dubbed as JPM Coin. It is the same US Banking giant whose CEO once said that Bitcoin is simply a fraud. 

Global payment giant PayPal is also hiring crypto talents. Rumors suggest that the platform is going to enable crypto purchases for its 305 million users worldwide. There are various job requirements in PayPal for engineers with skills that could overlap Bitcoin development, like experience with cryptographic libraries, experience with C++, and asymmetric cryptography.

However, engineers are not what they need now. They are looking for lawyers to expand in the crypto market and gain the support of the authorities and other organizations around the world.

Bitcoin could be the next big inflation hedge

Since its inception as a virtual currency, Bitcoin has taken the market to a storm which is still not over. Over the period the users of bitcoin as a virtual currency are increased in which big names are also added now. Many high profile investors are now betting on Bitcoin as the new option to hedge against inflation. Earlier, people considered safe assets like Gold when it comes to handling volatility in the markets. As the COVID19 pandemic has caused a lot of economic turmoil across the world, various governments and central banks have announced stimulus to revive the economy. In this situation, inflation is all set to go up shortly as the asset value of the currency is decreased by too much stimulus. In this situation, Bitcoin can offer some relief as it is on a rising trend for many years.

Bitcoin turning into a safe asset

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in lots of job loss, and the economy is not showing any positive signs in the near future. The interest rates are going to remain near 0% till 2022 according to central bank reports. This has led to a huge surge in Bitcoin prices in the last few weeks. Recently, it crossed the crucial $10000 mark, which showed how much confidence investors have on this asset.

Crypto markets becoming user friendly

Earlier, it was not so easy to access the cryptocurrency markets in different regions of the world. The charges were on the higher side, and investors did not have much knowledge about this asset class. However, the modern-day investor is savvy enough to use Bitcoins for various transactions. Apart from that, many investors are also using it as a hedge against inflation as this can secure their investments in times of volatility.

The trend with investing in cryptocurrency is going to last for a long time, considering the weakening economic system around the world. With the crypto market becoming easier than before, more and more investors are now keen to invest in Bitcoin for various reasons. As other asset classes have become volatile, they are trying to hedge the currency positions by investing some money in Bitcoin. Apart from that, many exchanges are offering bitcoins for trading along with other currencies. In this way, users can hedge their positions with Bitcoins and combine their investments with other currencies in the same account.

Biggest Corporations Skeptical of Introducing Crypto Payment Option

Not all conventional businesses are ready to embrace blockchain technology and make payments through blockchain. There is news that is spreading like wildfire because PayPal, which is a famous name in the payment market, has around 325 million active users. The company is selling crypto assets and is also offering custodial services. It is the news that is circulated in the cryptocurrency community for a few days. However, this is found to be a rumor and is not answered by PayPal.

Guy Hirsch, the managing director of eToro, stated that it is suitable for PayPal and other global companies to use cryptocurrency. It is a good sign for them. Above all, it helps people carry out cross-border transactions with ease and without paying a high transaction fee. Moreover, they do not have to convert the currency from one form to another. Many companies are taking the footsteps of Facebook, and PayPal is also evincing interest in cryptocurrency to reduce the hassles due to cross border transactions. This helps to optimize the economy across the globe.

Sidharth Sogani, the founder of Crebaco, stated that the future payments would be carried out with cryptocurrencies, and there would be peer-to-peer settlements. PayPal is the global leader that is reducing the online payment hassles, which is why it can understand the significance of cryptocurrencies.

Not all large companies are ready to embrace the crypto payments. The report that was given by Gartner, which is the most popular research and advisory firm, stated that the bosses of the big companies are careful in stating the usage of cryptocurrencies and whether it can succeed. However, though the cryptocurrency boom is on the rise, no large online retailer is accepting bitcoins. The bitcoins would store the value and has become a critical medium of exchange to carry out commercial exchanges.

The main question that arises is whether blockchain would reduce the fee while transacting. There is no clarity on the accounting and tax part in this instance. Not all merchants are ready to handle the risks due to cryptocurrency exchanges.

The report given by Credit Suisse anticipated that the cryptocurrencies would be challenged to have a good impact on the customer payment system that is already in place. The main problems that arise are due to taxation and solving the dispute and chargeback.

Nick Saponaro, the Chief Information Officer at The Divi Project, stated that there are many innovative solutions required to make the B2B payments and creation of invoices smooth before all the other companies can embrace this. The current tax system present in the US for the cryptocurrency is not advantageous for companies to use the digital currency. The capital gains may not be required by you to pay when you pay through the traditional currency while shopping in the stores. However, this is not the case with bitcoin.

The enticing part about cryptocurrency is a secure, safe way to perform transactions. More importantly, you do not have to pay a considerable transaction fee. Gil Hildebrand, who is the CEO, stated that the internet has made it easier for people to connect. There are no middlemen involved in doing the transactions. This makes it simple and easier for everyone to perform transactions. On the flip side, many companies accept cryptocurrency as payment and allow them even to pay the phone bill using bitcoins and taxes. The Bitpay, which is a bitcoin payment acquiring processor, stated that there is a massive demand for the crypto payment services. The transactions have increased from 7.2% to 9.1%. Few companies accept bitcoins as an alternative currency to buy game tickets and electronics, especially Newegg, which has retail shops in 72 countries.

Afghan Healthcare Ministry to Fight Drug Counterfeiting with Blockchain

One of the many problems that war-torn Afghanistan has been facing in recent times that have taken a toll on its healthcare system is the problem of counterfeit drugs. The country is looking at modern technology to solve the problem. The healthcare ministry of Afghanistan, along with the few pharmaceutical companies, has decided to use Fantom’s blockchain technology to combat the problem. Fantom’s Opera Blockchain technology would be employed to track 80,000 units of pharmaceutical products belonging to four different companies in the country.

Once the success and efficiency of this blockchain technology are proved, the use of Opera’s blockchain would be further scaled during the later part of the year. In this pilot experiment, 50,000 units of hand sanitizer, 10,000 units of Dioacare foot cream, 10,000 units of joint creams, and 10,000 units of Kofol tablets would be tracked. Afghanistan has been combating the issue of counterfeit drugs for many years now. In 2017 itself, the law enforcement agencies of the country seized more than 100 tons of counterfeit drugs, including counterfeit products, substandard medicines, and outdated drugs.

With the use of blockchain technology, pharmaceutical companies aim to create an immutable trail of the supply chain that cannot be tampered with. The products in this pilot assignment would contain a shipping label that would be scanned at every stage of the shipping and distribution process. Every time the product is scanned, a hash of the name of the product, expiration date, batch identification number, and other relevant details would be saved on the blockchain along with the timestamp.

A hash is typically a non-reversible mathematical function that allows individuals to verify whether the data provided is the same as the origin of hash. As per the World Health Organization, one in every ten medical products is substandard or falsified in developing nations. However, in Afghanistan, this number is much higher.

In a report provided by the European Asylum Support Office, the majority of Afghanistan’s population does not have access to adequate medical and healthcare facilities. It further said that 20 percent of the country’s health sector did not have electricity, 40 percent of the country’s medical and healthcare products are smuggled into the country, and over 94 percent of the population lives more than 2 hours away from their homes.

To address these issues, the Afghanistan healthcare ministry is looking to use Fantom’s Blockchain technology. The trial of a smart medicine program based on blockchain is the first step towards rehabilitation of the healthcare sector. The program was slated to commence much earlier, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused unusual delays. Michael Kong, CIO of Fantom, says that there has been a huge demand for health and medical products in the market due to the pandemic.

It has provided opportunistic elements in the country to take advantage of the surge in demand to supply substandard medical products as well as cause an imbalance in the base retail prices of products. The three other companies that are part of the smart medicine program are Nabros Pharma, Bliss GVS, and Royal Star Pharma. The healthcare ministry, after the successful set up of the supply chain of medicines and healthcare products, is also looking towards using blockchain technology for the storage of patients’ health records.

Russian Crypto Criminal Set for Sentencing in the United States

One of the citizens from Russia is found under the fraud act related to crypto and regarded to be a cybercriminal with a high-profile. This case is recorded as one of the most criminal sets which are to be sentenced under lawful obligations. Sergey Medvedev, a national citizen of Russia who is involved in an “escrow crypto service,” has raised his plead in response to the fraud caught. He is pleaded as a guilty citizen who is involved in the fraud of the crypto case. Medvedev has pleaded a guilty response to the charges applicable to racketeering in the US. 

Infraud and Liberty Reserve Organization:

It was admitted by the man who stands at the age of 33-years-old that he was involved in the establishment of the organization. He admitted on June 26 in front of the US District Court for Nevada that the international criminal enterprise was established by him, which involved credit cards and equipment sale facilitation. The organization was kept in operation for eight years. In the company, all trafficking included for information stolen from the credit cards and other illegal things. 

In 2010, it was recorded that the Infraud Organization began with its operations. In the operation years, an illegal attempt was made, and about $560m transactions took place. Also, Medvedev revealed that he was involved in running the Liberty Reserve service, which facilitates all the transactions involving Bitcoin.

During 2018, the Justice Department came up with indicting the cybercriminal and all his partners for the racketeering count. Medvedev got arrested himself later in Thailand in the same year. During that time, it was reported by the Bangkok Post that 100,000 BTC was found in possession, as found by the agencies made for ensuring law enforcement.

In the recent plea made by him, nothing was mentioned regarding the extent to which all the transactions involving Bitcoin took place. Though, it was reported that he got hands over $1.04m digital currency by way of exchange. As per the reports, Russian cybercriminal’s next hearing is to be held on December 9. 

Aleksei Burkov: Cybercriminal running Dark Web platform

Medvedev is the second cybercriminal in Russia who got sentenced in so much time. On the day when Medvedev made the plea, another announcement was made by the Department of Justice regarding the nine years punishment sentence made for Aleksei Burkov. As per the document released as a sentence notice, Burkov got involved in running a platform Cardplanet, Dark Web, wherein ads are placed, and information stolen from the confidential credentials is sold out over it. Also, the department of justice alleged that several card information was related to the ones who belong to America. With the sale of stolen data over the platform, it has helped the cybercriminal to get hands over $20m using making fraudulent purchases using the credit card information. 

Another report reveals that the cybercriminal was involved in running an allegedly framed club to share partnerships with other criminals. In the club, the participants hold the opportunity to make the advertisement regarding the goods stolen illegally or even the activities related to illegal things. In the club, each member is liable to pay an amount of $5,000 to use the platform and operate it with permission. And the members were required to come up with three reference members.

In 2015, authorities even took strict action against him by seizing him when he was residing in the areas of Israel. Even an effort was made by Russia’s government to get him free from the Israelis hostage swap. After a deal made between both parties, an agreement got framed to send the latter to the US.