Many people still view blockchain and the distributed ledger technology that enabled bitcoin and other forms of digital currency as all but impossible to fully comprehend.
Still, it’s an article of faith among believers that blockchain technology will soon revolutionize the world, and a few law firms already have dispatched lawyers to advise companies in this nascent industry on the numerous challenges, which range from whether bitcoin is a property or a currency, accounting and tax treatment and various other issues.
This week, Steptoe Johnson announced it will soon accept payment in bitcoin.
“We’re counseling other companies about accepting the risks and the challenges and opportunities of digital currency,” said Steptoe’s Alan Cohn. “We should really be walking the walk.”
Cohn, an of counsel at the firm and former assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, and Jason Weinstein, a partner and former deputy assistant attorney general launched the firm’s blockchain practice group roughly one year ago. They also launched a blog, about the development of blockchain technology.
Below is a brief transcipt of our conversation with Cohn. It is lightly edited for clarity and concision.
Big Law Business: How many clients pay in bitcoin?
Cohn: This is a new service that we’re providing. We anticipate some clients would take advantage of that.