Get on board with bitcoin, advises legal expert

Get on board with bitcoin, advises legal expert

Get on board with bitcoin, advises legal expert

“It’s going to revolutionize even their (advisors') industry. So, I think they should pay attention. In the U.S., they are certainly paying attention and they are even investing in it,” she says, citing Goldman Sach’s backing of bitcoin. “They don’t want to be left out of that game when it moves to that realm in three, four or five years’ time.”

Duhaime suggests advisors verse themselves thoroughly in bitcoin technology by attending conferences since there is no official ‘bitcoin for dummies’ resource. And, think of the digital currency as the method of payment, that it is, for the future, which will inevitably lead to more regulatory rules and anti-money laundering (AML) risk-aversion practices.  

“It’s a bit of a concern because people will be doing financial transactions through what they call the bitcoin protocol because it is via computer and peer-to-peer,” she explains. “You don’t need a middle man to transfer value.”

Despite talks taking place between the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and Quebec launching the first Bitcoin ATM this month,
Duhaime says that Canadian provinces, in general, are a long way off taking any particular stance on the digital currency.

“Wrapping their minds around bitcoin is going to take a much longer time in the securities realm,” says Duhaime, who is set to speak in Vancouver about bitcoin and its risks later this month. “In the U.S., especially, they are looking at bitcoin derivatives, so at some point in time bitcoin will evolve into a securities product. But we are not there yet in Canada. That dialogue is important to be having, but it’s too soon for Canada.”

In the meantime, the federal government is in the process of regulating the bitcoin as a money-service business, with draft legislation due in June.

"That will change everything because then in order to buy or sell you are going to have to go through a regulated entity," says Duhaime. "I think there will be much more buy-in and acceptance of it going forward."

What's your stance on the future of bitcoin? Tell WP your thoughts in the comment box below.

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  • John Bennett 2014-04-16 12:16:42 PM
    I find it hard to trust in bitcoin. The bankruptcy of MTGOX is just the tip of the iceberg. With a bitcoin being worth over $1000 in the not too distant past, and now being worth $500, that should set off the alarm for anybody considering bitcoin.
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