As more companies try to get a foothold on blockchain technology, lawyers with expertise in blockchain law are reaping the full benefits. According to a report by Law.com, it’s difficult to keep up with the demand for lawyers with knowledge on blockchain technology and other associated practices such as digital privacy.
The emerging practice is shipping in experts even from the government, Brian Burlant told the publication. Burlant is the managing director at Major, Lindsay & Africa, a recruiting service that caters to some of the top law firms in the world. He said it has been hard for his firm to keep up with the demand for attorneys who understand the intricacies of blockchain technology, noting:
“What I am seeing in blockchain and in crypto is that firms are cautiously making forays into this space—feeling out for talent, trying to assess where are the trends from their clients coming; so it is very much a work in progress and everyone expects the weight of business to increase. We have also seen lawyers entering this space from regulatory practices or government, specifically securities regulation and white-collar/investigations practices, as regards to cryptocurrencies in particular.”
It has not been smooth sailing all along, however. While the demand for these lawyers rose rapidly during the 2017 crypto boom, it dropped drastically in 2018 as crypto prices crashed. J.R Lanis, an expert in blockchain law, told the publication that the crypto crash forced a lot of lawyers who had flocked in the industry back into their previous practices, “like Silicon Valley in the 90s.” However, he added, “Those who have stuck with it will continue to see a lot of activity in this area.”
Blockchain law has become popular in tandem with privacy law. In recent times, many governments have become aware of just how important data privacy is, especially given the ever-growing online presence. While previously big tech firms were operating in a regulatory utopia, governments have continuously put in place laws that protect the users. The European Union (EU) leads the charge with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which it put in place a year ago.
Mary Young, a partner at legal consultancy firm Zeughauser Group and an expert on privacy laws told the publication: “Privacy law has also grown tremendously, and my own experience backs that up, based on marketing research I did a year ago and also my experience with clients. Most global and national firms have added significant capabilities in privacy and data security in the last five years.”
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