First Canadian law firm member of World’s Largest Open-Source Blockchain Initiative
Bennett Jones is the first Canadian law firm member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative. Ethereum is dedicated to evolving smart-contract blockchain technologies for enterprise application across industries.
“Blockchain is one of the biggest changes in business that will happen this century,” says Conrad Druzeta, co-head of Bennett Jones’ Blockchain and Fintech practice. “We’re in exciting times. Blockchain, Distributed Ledger technology and cryptocurrency are opening new dimensions in global commerce. They are also subject to many Canadian and international laws that participants need to be aware of.”
The Canadian Securities Administrators, the U.S. SEC and other security regulators are taking a very close look at blockchain technology—and have shown they are very willing to work with people. Blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart contracts are expected to have huge impacts on areas such as insurance, financial services, international trade, transportation and supply chain management, information technology and tax.
“Distributed Ledger and Distributed Autonomous Organizations are at the basis of blockchain. We see these as basic, enabling, infrastructure technologies with very broad impacts on a variety of business operations. They are much more than crypto-currencies,” says Michael Whitt, co-head of Bennett Jones’ Blockchain and Fintech practice. “Ethereum is an exciting platform, and we’re delighted to be involved with the Alliance and its community.”
Bennett Jones’ Blockchain and Fintech team includes members from the firm’s capital markets, corporate, financial services, taxation, information technology and knowledge management groups. The team stays current on developing technologies, how these technologies intersect with the law, and the impact they will have on how legal services are delivered.
“Smart contracts can lead to a completely new model of financing that doesn’t even exist right now,” says Simon Grant co-head of Bennett Jones’ Blockchain and Fintech practice. “One of the areas that’s most suitable for smart contracts is equipment financing. For any sort of asset that’s bought on a monthly term or leased, it can be set up in the contract that if a payment isn’t made, the asset will automatically be switched off or neutralized. Then when the payment is made, the asset can be activated again. We’re already starting to see this in some parts of the world.”
For more information, view Bennett Jones’ Blockchain and Fintech video series:
Conrad Druzeta on Cryptocurrencies as Securities.
Michael Whitt on Distributed Ledger Technology.
About Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
Formed in February 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. Building upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production—Ethereum—the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance defines enterprise-grade software capable of handling the most complex, highly-demanding applications at the speed of business.
About Bennett Jones
Bennett Jones is one of Canada's premier business law firms and home to over 380 lawyers and business advisors in nine offices. With deep experience in complex transactions and litigation matters, the firm is well equipped to advise foreign businesses and investors with Canadian ventures, and connect Canadian businesses and investors with opportunities around the world.
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