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Instant Insights / Cryptocurrency Moves into the Mainstream

Bitcoin and blockchain are no longer tech-nerd abstractions. Digital currency is becoming a significant part of doing business these days, as the law plays catch-up to regulate it. In this Instant Insights, we look at the impact that cryptocurrency is having on the legal marketplace and the practice of law.

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Think of it like getting in on the ground floor of the nickel. JPMorgan Chase announced the JPM Coin earlier last week, a prototype digital coin equivalent to one U.S. dollar. The bank’s customers will be able to use the token—and the underlying blockchain technology—to transmit instantaneous payments to one another.

Don’t get too excited just yet. The coin is still firmly in the pilot phase, with JPMorgan planning to test it out among a small number of institutional clients before a wide release is anywhere in sight. Still, it can’t hurt to think about the potential legal risks at play for the bank, which at this point resemble those posed to any organization trafficking in personal data: hackers and accidents.

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Frank Ready

Frank Ready is a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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