While the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses will evaluate the potential for incorporating blockchain and cryptocurrency. The impetus for doing so is tied to market trends and staying relevant while reaping the benefits of increased security and transparency. Though there are advantages, businesses must examine the legal considerations associated with these new technologies. Once they know them, they can take the necessary steps to address them. This month’s blog closely looks at two uncommon areas businesses must account for before adopting blockchain or using cryptocurrency.
Regulatory compliance is one of the most critical legal considerations for any business intending to use blockchain or cryptocurrency. One of the largest challenges associated with it is that governmental and regulatory bodies are still trying to map out the legal framework for these emerging technologies. As paramount as it is to understand the relevant laws and regulations within their jurisdiction, they must stay current and adhere to the laws as they develop.
Regarding cryptocurrency, two regulations right now are fundamentally important to understand.
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
- Know Your Customer (KYC)
Essentially, these laws require businesses to have robust identity verification procedures. This is to force businesses to have the appropriate policies and procedures to prevent them from being involved in illicit activities such as money laundering and financing terrorist activities. Being unaware of who you are working with is not a sufficient defense against the significant penalties and legal ramifications of violating these regulations.
Although this is not unique to cryptocurrency companies, businesses must have systems in place to protect data. With cryptocurrency, you must safeguard the private keys of the cryptocurrency wallets. Additionally, they need to mitigate risks by doing the following:
- Protecting user information
- Protecting sensitive data
- Maintaining compliance with privacy laws
- Taking appropriate steps to prevent data breaches
IP & Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are a derivative of blockchain, and they are self-executing. Essentially, the terms of the agreement are included in the code. Whereas that speaks to efficiency, there are legal issues to think about, namely, as they apply to intellectual property rights. While also looking at how this technology is expanding, it has to be evaluated against IP ownership and licensing rights. The smart contracts themselves could include proprietary algorithms, unique software code, and innovative systems, which could all come with legal protection. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t vulnerable to being infringed upon. Working with legal counsel ensures that your smart contracts protect your intellectual property assets.
Speak with Innovative Legal Counsel
Quantum Lex works with innovative companies because we follow and understand blockchain and cryptocurrency laws. When you partner with us, we will help you navigate the legal considerations we highlighted above and the ones we didn’t. We aim to help you harness technology’s power while safeguarding your operations in an evolving digital world. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.
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