With CoinGeek New York now just a few short days away, CoinGeek caught up with one of the event’s main sponsors, ONTIER, to chat with Managing Partner Derek Stinson about the conference and what ONTIER have been up to since the CoinGeek Conference in Zurich earlier this year.
ONTIER is a global law firm, with specialization in digital assets and litigation in around the digital currency sector.
Stinson began by sharing his excitement about being in New York, and what this could mean for the global reputation of digital currency in the financial sectors.
“We’re delighted to be in New York because it’s the epicenter of the financial world. This technology is going to change the face of banking and finance. So you need to be in New York, you need to be in London, you need to be in Hong Kong and Tokyo, all major financial centers. We’re delighted to be in New York this year,” he said.
“We always sponsor CoinGeek. As a sponsor, you get a virtual booth and a physical booth so conference attendees can approach us, and we can solve their problems and answer their questions. I definitely recommend sponsoring CoinGeek if you are a business in this space,” he said.
On major events in the digital currency world, Stinson said ONTIER is paying special attention to what is happening in El Salvador, around the national experiment of choosing BTC as legal tender. He also spoke of plans in Argentina to embrace digital currency at a national level, which he said could solve problems for the troubled South American country’s economy.
“Well, we’re paying special attention to El Salvador because we have a strong footprint in South America and the El Salvador experiment is going to be replicated throughout the region. The Argentine government has made noises that they will take on the virtual currency and they have a lot of reasons to do so,” he said.
Since CoinGeek Zurich, Stinson said ONTIER had become the primary disruptor in the field, he further states that the company is often called to advise on new laws and frameworks around Bitcoin, digital assets, and blockchain.
“Since CoinGeek Zurich our blockchain and Bitcoin practice has expanded rapidly, and we are now the pre-eminent disruptor in the field. Because of the changing environment and the uncertainty of the law around Bitcoin and blockchain, we are often called upon to lead the way where new law needs to be made or clarified,” he explained.
He also spoke of the growing support from the judiciary, with reference to a case in England, for backing victims of digital currency fraud.
“Since CoinGeek Zurich, the English court has confirmed its willingness to assist victims of crypto asset fraud. The English court has very powerful tools that can be used all over the world and the case of Fetch.ai Ltd. versus persons unknown, the court issued a worldwide freezing order, injunctive relief and an information disclosure order against unknown perpetrators of a crypto asset fraud.”
Stinson added, “The worldwide freezing order was also issued against those unknowingly who became involved in the fraud in order to freeze their assets, increasing prospects of recovery for the victim. Importantly, the court decided that the location of cryptocurrency is where the owner is based, and this is very helpful in defining jurisdiction in which to bring the action against those that try to steal your crypto assets.”
ONTIER is currently working with Dr. Craig Wright to recover an amount of Bitcoin he has lost access to. Stinson said the case was progressing well, and that they were hopeful of a positive outcome for Bitcoin’s creator.
“We are advancing the case very rapidly. There are a number of important points of law and a lot of money at stake in this case; it’s high stakes litigation. When you bring an action against persons or entities outside of the jurisdiction, you need to formally serve them with papers to let them know that they’re being sued in England and to recommend that they take legal advice,” he said.
“In this case there are a variety of defendants, 15 or 16 in total. And there are a variety of jurisdictions all over the world. So tracking these defendants down and serving them with papers is a big, arduous task. We’ve served all the defendants bar one, which is a major milestone, and we will serve that defendant very shortly. Some defendants have tried to get out of the case by challenging the jurisdiction of the English court to hear the case, but we are confident that we’ll be victorious when jurisdiction and all the important matters in that case will be solved in London.”
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