Client Demand for Crypto Payments Needs Cautious Response From Lawyers, Expert Says

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Cryptocurrency payments are a topic of increasing interest for United States lawyers following a recent conference panel, Bloomberg Law reported on March 11.

Referencing participants in the 18th Annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management (LMRM) Conference, which ran from March 5-7 in Chicago, the publication noted the prevalence of cryptocurrency payments in the legal profession, stemming from client demand.

As the cryptocurrency industry and markets mature, more clients are asking to use digital assets for payment.

Doing so can nonetheless yield mixed results, experts advised, with upfront bill payments differing from retainers, which remain in segregated funds for long periods.

“Cryptocurrency does not fit with the model for trust funds — lawyers should not accept cryptocurrency as trust money,” Matthew K. Roskoski, deputy general counsel for Latham & Watkins, who joined the LMRM panel, summarized.

Continuing, Roskoski highlighted the risks, but suggested dealing with initial coin offerings (ICOs) constituted another level of difficulty for legal professionals.

“Working in ICO space [sic] is subject to risk and a liability scheme we have no track record in,” he said, adding:

«[But] there’s real money to be made there so people don’t want to wash their hands of it entirely.”

As Cointelegraph reported, the U.S. in particular continues to languish in a gray area regarding the acceptance of cryptocurrency as payment.

Ongoing state-by-state differences, as well as the changeable nature of the regulatory landscape, have meant interaction with tokens themselves can be a headache for prospective investors.