Blockchain challenges require old fashioned business approach
BLOCKCHAIN CHALLENGES REQUIRE OLD FASHIONED APPROACH
Eye on Blockchain caught up with Sullivan & Worcester Chair of Fintech and Blockchain Practice Joel Telpner and discussed the cryptocurrency world and legal practice around it.
On law firms
S&W has six associates and nine partners working on blockchain and looking to add more. The space is still new and there are not a whole bunch of people that people are fighting over. Different law firms are taking different views so some are more willing to jump in than others.
Part of the problem is that the market has oversimplified the challenges. The reality is it is a complicated business.
On legal talent
A lot of young lawyers think the more tech background they have the better off they are, and I wouldn’t argue against that, but it’s also important to have old fashioned legal experience to be a good business counselor.
There’s the interaction between how new technology, like blockchain, is going to impact the regulatory considerations. There’s no point helping to launch a business that falls afoul of regulators. You need to have skills and ability in the context of the regulatory world.
Internet development holds lessons for blockchain
Blockchain today has some common themes with the last tech cycle at the end of the 90s and early 2000s. You need to have people that have tech experience and tech backgrounds and people with business experience, that know how to put together and launch a business and get them off the ground.
You can have the greatest tech idea in the world but if you don’t have the right people around you to build it out your odds of succeeding are small.
The issue is even more acute in blockchain
That’s compounded in blockchain with its decentralization and democratization. There’s almost an allergic reaction to having business models and strong governance models so that philosophical debate has impacted the success of a number of players.
I think blockchain does give us new ways on how we govern things but I don’t think it means you throw everything out that you have today - the internet evolved and matured and so will blockchain.