Crypto-versed lawyers will play an increasingly important role in Web3 firms — particularly as the industry braces for regulatory turbulence following the implosion of FTX, two legal academics believe.
Boston Law School professor and chief compliance officer at crypto exchange Bitstamp, Thomas Hook, told Cointelegraph that Web3 lawyers will soon become “business differentiators” because they’ll be faced with the tough task of helping firms navigate through legal and regulatory uncertainties.
This will ultimately determine how fast firms can take 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 business to get to market quickly in a legal and compliant manner.”
“Without them, companies could face setbacks as regulators are looking to get a handle on the industry,” Hook added.
Senior Research Fellow Dr. Aaron Lane of RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub told Cointelegraph that in the current environment, Web3 companies should play it safe and resort to legal advice where appropriate.
“Entrepreneurs are used to making decisions under economic uncertainty but are not as good at operating under legal uncertainty.”
Lane explained that the quick pace of blockchain-based innovation as well as the over 50 independent digital asset bills introduced into the United States Congress in recent times further illustrates the need.
He believes that some of the best Web3 lawyers will come from the commercial law sector, which is a “crucial” foundation for lawyers in the crypto 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 kind or another and I expect that core foundation 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 however stressed.
For now, however, the sector remains “very niche”, according to CryptoRecruit founder Neil Dundon.
Lane added that much of the legal representation for Web3 firms is offered by external counsel instead of in-house lawyers, who specialize more on cases relating to financial services and securities laws.