Technology lawyer Addison Cameron-Huff launched his new, Toronto-based, all-crypto legal firm on The New Years, as a statement of his commitment to promoting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-based businesses.
Cameron-Huff has worked as the lawyer for a Bitcoin core developer, several token-based companies, and dozens of crypto startups. As president of Decentral Inc., he managed a staff of 30 and helped to take the company to 750,000 monthly wallet users.
As the first, all-crypto legal services firm in Canada, Cameron-Huff expects the ongoing uncertainty around Canada’s cryptocurrency regulations to create some business for him, but he is also looking to build a global presence in hopes to help with the massive Bitcoin adoption in the near future.
Cameron believes that all his initial clients won’t be based in Canada. In fact, he believes that most of his early clients will be in Singapore and Malta, which both have less regulated laws around cryptocurrency.
There is an ongoing global talent shortage, and lawyers are a part of that. Although most law is national/sub-national, there are certain corporate-commercial considerations that are cross-border, and legal strategy is international. Many businesses around the world can’t find local legal talent that meets their needs, and this is a strong opportunity for Canada’s blockchain lawyers
Cameron-Huff notes that Canada has a relatively welcoming regulatory and legal environment, especially when compared to the U.S.
The challenges continue to be “non-legal areas like commercial bank accounts (i.e. not being able to have access to the banking system), access to capital (especially post-angel), and competition for talent (crypto companies aren’t the only ones trying to hire smart technologists),” he said.
Canada’s government isn’t necessary new to the cryptocurrency scene as well. The government previously drafted regulations for this space, but have been quietly shelved at least until after the next election (expected in October this year), meaning that any enforcement date gets pushed back well into 2021.
Cameron-Huff, who was involved in the original, confidential regulatory consultation process in 2014, said the industry should be thankful that those efforts were never enacted. He told BitcoinMagazine that he’s not a fan of cryptocurrency-specific, even though he’s heard from quite a few crypto businesses who are keen on regulation.
“What they don’t understand is that the regulations won’t be written by them or even for them. They assume that any regulations will be supportive of their vision for the industry and the Canadian payments space, but that’s not necessarily the case, and even if it was, it has the potential to freeze existing models in place.”
“The major issue over the last two years has been how to avoid illegal securities. Exchanges have increased their scrutiny of new digital asset listings and the rest of the industry has followed suit. In 2019 will see a continued maturation of the space and an increased focus on regulatory/compliance. It can’t be ignored anymore.”
Cameron-Huff expects to be advising some startups on token sales and he thinks that ICOs are likely here to stay and advises people to not get carried around the prices.
“I expect that 2019’s token sales will be of higher quality than many of the ones from 2017/2018. There’s a growing sophistication in the market and I think the ‘gold rush’ mentality has cooled.”
Yes the law firm will be accepting Bitcoin payments as well. Sort of obvious knowing that they provide legal services in the crypto space, but Cameron did confirm this.
Cameron-Huff said that he is happy to accept bitcoin as payment (as well as fiat) and, in what he sees as another pioneering step forward, he has a fixed-fee payment system for his clients.
As described on his website, a fixed-fee service is designed to ensure a firm has access to legal advice, no matter what the issue and when. Like a membership fee, it ensures access when needed.
Cameron-Huff sees this as more suitable billing model for the more complex needs of blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.
To end this article, we’ll share a last piece of comment that Cameron added:
“There’s a lot of talk online about crypto prices and whether or not 2018 was a bubble, but I’ve only seen a steady increase in the number and quality of Toronto’s blockchain companies. Canadian banks continue to hire blockchain developers. Startups have doubled-down on the value of their products rather than the value of their coins or tokens. I expect 2019 to be a big year for product development. The speculative side holds little interest for me.”