Digital innovation is having a fundamental impact on the way financial services are provided and how financial services firms structure their operations. The rise of distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) has the potential to enhance the way that businesses operate and the way that we, as individuals, live our lives.
As an “unhackable”, decentralised collection of databases, capable of recording and storing large volumes of information without the need for any intermediaries (e.g., governments or banks), it is easy to see the sector-wide potential of this disruptive digital technology. It is already beginning to fundamentally shift ‘business to business’ and ‘business to consumer’ practices, to revolutionise the way that people access, use and view “money” on a day to day basis, and to provide individuals with enhanced knowledge of, and control over, the use of their data.
The multiple applications of this technology can be seen in the rapid expansion of trading in crypto and digital currencies and the development of progressive payment systems. The increasing acceptance of such currencies, or value tokens, has resulted in a rapid maturing and evolution of crypto markets and related businesses. The growth of these markets has led to increased concerns over their potential implications for financial stability and this in turn is – inevitably – going to result in additional legal and regulatory requirements for all businesses operating within these sectors.
However, use of DLT is not limited to cryptocurrencies and progressive payment systems. DLT has evolved and continues to expand so that it is increasingly being successfully applied across multiple and diverse applications, particularly in authenticating supply chains and as a fully traceable and indelible record of ownership.
Agriculture is a good example. Digital blockchain data can record where a product was produced, from which plot of land, when it was picked, how it was planted and grew, at what temperature and by whom/with which piece of machinery. The data options are endless. The reliability of such data is truly robust, authenticated and accessible, meaning that this technology has the potential to revolutionise the capture, access and use of perhaps the most valuable asset of the 21st century-data.
At Rosenblatt, we have closely followed and advised businesses at the forefront of this technology. We have developed an ever expanding network of relevant contacts including start-up companies, entrepreneurs, investors, stakeholders, intermediaries, funders and insurers as part of our commitment to this evolving technology. We have a team of specialists drawn from a broad spectrum of legal disciplines familiar with this technology and its use. We have helped many fledging, as well as more established, businesses successfully navigate the legal and regulatory complexities of this emerging sector.
We have advised financial services businesses and other businesses utilising blockchain and/or DLT technology on corporate structurings and reorganisations to be ‘investment ready’, capital investments, regulatory developments and requirements, commercial, IP data and tech contracts (with an increasing demand for advice on smart contracts), employment, shareholder disputes and recovery of monies from wallet providers.
If you are a business or individual starting or present in this sector or expanding your existing operations, Rosenblatt’s Tech Team can provide you with the assistance you need to deliver your DLT or Crypto based operations efficiently, cost-effectively and in a compliant manner.
Partner, Dispute Resolution
Laura has a broad practice dealing with complex disputes and negotiations. Laura became interested in Crypto and DLT a few years ago and has been central to the development of this practice area in our group.
Head of Commercial & IP/Technology/Media (Commercial & Security IT), Partner
Anthony has 25 years of experience acting for both suppliers and users of established and emerging technology across sectors, including regulated industries. He also advises on intellectual property, commercial & security IT, and data protection.
Partner, Commercial & IP/Technology/Media
Chris has over 20 years experience in technology with a particular focus on start-up clients. He has experience in varied sectors including with the development and licensing of telemetry technology for F1 and WRC motor racing teams, banking, payments, identification, advertising, insight, broadcasting, gambling, gaming, online trade, data enrichment, aviation and transport.
Partner & Head of Corporate, Company Secretary
Jon has over 25 years experience as a Corporate and Corporate Finance Lawyer with a focus on entrepreneurial businesses and clients. He has acted on a number of high value transactions across a number of industry sectors for both corporate and individual clients. He has been involved in cryptoassets, digital currency and DLT businesses for the past few years, advising existing business and start-ups.
Head of Competition & Regulatory, Partner
Robert has over 30 years experience advising on complex competition and regulatory matters. He advises financial services and cryptocurrency firms on issues before the Financial Conduct Authority and on the use of blockchain in a wider industry context. He currently chairs the City of London Law Society Competition Committee and has also been recognised as a leading competition/regulatory lawyer in Chambers and other directories.
David has over 20 years experience advising lenders and borrowers on their debt facilities and, in particular, has helped many tech start-ups with their nascent debt and investment requirements.
Philip advises on business taxes and employee incentives. He was appointed to the Law Society’s VAT and Duties sub-committee and has also been recognised as a leader in his field by Chambers UK and cited in other legal directories. He advises tech start-ups and on tax issues arising in relation to cryptocurrencies.
Senior Associate, Financial Crime
Frances privately prosecutes on behalf of individuals and corporate entities in respect of high value, complex, multi-jurisdictional Cryptocurrency cases and defends investigations and Prosecutions brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs and other major law enforcement agencies. This includes providing assistance with asset tracing and recovery.