Washington DC lawyers move towards ‘reasonable’ digital currency route

Lawyers in Washington D.C. can now accept digital currency as a form of payment for their services.

An ethics opinion published by the Washington D.C. Bar made its stance on digital currency payments clear, stating: “It is not unethical for a lawyer to accept cryptocurrency in lieu of more traditional forms of payment, so long as the fee is reasonable.”

The D.C. Bar said that as long as the client has been informed in writing of the implications a digital currency payment could have, that the client has an opportunity to seek external counsel, and that the fee the lawyer is charging the client is reasonable, there is nothing unethical about accepting digital currency as a form of payment.

Will more states follow suit?

Washington D.C. is the fourth federal district to allow lawyers to receive digital currency payments for their service. In the past, the North Carolina, Nebraska, and New York City bars issued their own advisory opinions that approved the use of digital currency as a payment method.

“Lawyers cannot hold back the tides of change even if they would like to, and cryptocurrency is increasingly accepted as a payment method by vendors and service providers, including lawyers,” according to the statement from the D.C. Bar. 

The D.C. Bar has acknowledged that digital currency payments are becoming increasingly popular—and that trend shows no signs of slowing down. Recently, it was rumored that Paypal would be allowing its 325 million users to buy and sell digital currency via PayPal and their mobile payments platform Venmo.

The more onramps and offramps that there are to digital currency, the more likely it is that a consumer would be interested in paying in digital currency or that a vendor, merchant, or lawyer would be willing to accept digital currency for the service that they provide.

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