The crypto industry is experiencing its biggest setback to date, with the value of tokens down substantially and decentralized finance (DeFi) companies. imploding. But lawyers expect legal work in the crypto space to increase in the coming years, according to a recent Bloomberg Law survey.
The results of Bloomberg Law’s second State of the Practice survey also show that crypto legal work is starting to move into the mainstream.
What Crypto Lawyers Talk About Practicing
The survey was conducted between June 29 and July 22, with responses from 382 lawyers with 18.6 years of legal practice experience.
Of those surveyed, 27 respondents (7.1%) currently practice in the cryptocurrency space. Looking forward, 46 lawyers (12.1%) said they were considering expanding into cryptocurrency and 30 lawyers (7.9%) indicated they were contemplating expanding their practice to include the metaverse. . As expected for a growing industry, crypto makes up a small portion of lawyers’ practices today with an average percentage of 9.2%.
Areas of digital assets / decentralized finance and internet space that will grow for lawyers? Of the lawyers who expect to work in crypto in the next two years, the most common area is cryptocurrency (44%), followed by blockchain (38%), decentralized finance (30%), and Web 3.0 (20%).
Survey Shows Crypto Industry is maturing
Although crypto is still an emerging industry with regulation lagging behind innovation, the types of clients that lawyers represent—and the crypto legal advice they provide—indicate a mature sector. Startups are just one of the many clients of survey lawyers, balanced with traditional businesses, individual and institutional investors, and others.
The types of crypto legal matters that the respondents are dealing with add to the conclusion that the industry has reached a new stage in its evolution. The early days in a hot new industry are usually focused on growing the business, with legal procedures often postponed until a future date.
But that’s not what our survey found. Regulatory enforcement leads the way in the category of legal advice available, with other areas of legal compliance, such as tax and anti-money laundering compliance, also near the top.
Taken together, the mix of clients and advice provided is a reflection of an industry that is beginning to seriously address its regulatory obligations.
—With the help of Princess Onyiri.
Bloomberg Law subscribers can find information on US federal and state regulatory actions toward cryptocurrencies and other digital assets on our website Fintech Compliance resources, including new Financial Technology Development Tracker.
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