One of the United Kingdom’s most senior lawyers said in a speech on May 2 that cryptocurrencyand smart contract use will inevitably begin, but regulations are needed.
Addressing the University of Liverpool School of Law and the Northern Chancery Bar Association, Sir Geoffery Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, dedicated time to exploring necessary changes in order for smart contracts and crypto assets to become widespread.
“My starting point is to ask why smart contracts have taken so long to become ubiquitous,” he began. Vos continued:
“We have been discussing how and when they may take over the world of mainstream financial services for several years. Yet, they seem never to make that breakthrough into reality.”
Vos has revealed himself to be an advocate of technological reform in the legal sector, noting in a 2018 speech that the U.K. legal system was primed to cope with innovation.
This week’s pitch repeated that idea, with Vos advocating the fact that the use of smart contracts was a matter of when, not if.
“We should, therefore, be looking to identify and, if necessary, remove any fundamental legal impediment to the use of smart contracts,” he stated. Vos added:
“We should try to avoid the creation of a new legal and regulatory regime that will discourage the use of new technologies rather than provide the foundation for them to flourish.”
Speaking about cryptocurrency directly, Vos meanwhile gave a stronger indication that its presence in society would only grow, rather than move to the sidelines.
“Thus far, the legal uncertainty that pervades the use of so-called crypto currencies and cryptoassets for financial transactions has meant that the starting line has not been crossed. It will be crossed at some stage soon. That is for sure.”
The U.K. is currently in a difficult transitional phase regarding cryptocurrency in particular. Various regulatory voices have clashed with business over what to allow, with the latter criticizing approaches for threatening to disadvantage the local economy.
At the same time, surveys have uncovered increasingly widespread ownership and interaction with cryptocurrency among the general population.