“2014 was a pretty exciting time, and (the Bitcoin industry) was a lot smaller,” says Perkins Coie associate Sarah Hody. But the hype that surrounded it four years ago “was nowhere near the scale that we’re seeing today”. Bitcoin is in the big league now and its companies are playing by big-league rules. They’ll probably need lawyers.
Sarah Hody: ‘A Lot of Misinformation and Misunderstanding Out There’
Like many in the bitcoin/blockchain industry, Hody was surprised to discover there were real, paying jobs doing what was previously a hobby. Fast-forward a few years and she’s an associate with Seattle law firm Perkins Coie — after spending two years at Coinbase helping Bitcoin startups negotiate the various financial and banking regulations they were suddenly facing.
These days, about 90 percent of Perkins Coie’s digital asset-related work is in token sales, ICOs and other issues far beyond simple money transmission. That’s still important, but these days securities law weighs heavily as well. “There’s a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding out there,” Hody said.
The legal status of blockchain tokens is still ambiguous, and for now each must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Listen to the complete interview to hear what goes on in a blockchain lawyer’s world:
About the Automata Podcast
“The future is automated.” Automata is a series of brief audio introductions to the projects that will drive the automated economies of the future. Pactum Capital‘s Daniel Cawrey and Bitsonline senior editor Jon Southurst chat with leaders in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, freer markets (and the occasional regulator) to find out where all this is going.
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Images via Daniel Cawrey, Jon Southurst, Pexels