The COVID-19 was an event of the global crisis that left the world incapacitated and challenged the dynamics of how the world worked. The impact of the pandemic was such that the world still has not recovered from the challenges even in 2021. As a result, the concept of work from home and distance learning became the new normal and is itself an obstacle. The COVID-19 has particularly affected the legal sector. With the emergence of the CoronaVirus, lawyers have unwillingly started to work remotely, while law students are focusing on increasing their technical knowledge to be competitive in the job market.
While the courtrooms shifted to using Zoom and Meet for the legal proceedings, it was noticed that there was an increase in the term “Bitcoin” and its legality overall. It is predicted that soon digital currencies will be the new currency while traditional notes and coins will become obsolete. Therefore, tomorrow’s lawyers must have a strong grip on the future finance and transaction model dynamics. We have singled out three key reasons why Law Schools should teach their students about Bitcoin and when to buy Bitcoin.
Reasons Why Law Schools Should Be Teaching Bitcoin
Bar Exam Is Not Enough For Real World
This is a problem in every area of academics; however, this affects law students even more, when they step into the professional field. Law schools only prepare pupils for their bar exams, which is not enough. In Bitcoin and digital currencies, academics are just not making enough efforts to develop a curriculum that will prepare the students for the real world.
Law Schools should expand their horizons to make their students ready to take on their careers as soon as they graduate. Even internships, externships, and clerkships are not enough. The world has evolved at a very fast pace in terms of technology in the past few years. At the time of my graduation, there was no concept of cryptocurrencies, even if it was limited to its domain. And this was just six years ago (2015). So I had to self-learn the dynamics of Blockchain and Bitcoin. I ended up teaching it to my Cyber Law students to give them an advantage over their batchmates.
It should also be noted that high-tier universities such as MIT, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, New York University, and others have initiated teaching the basics of Bitcoins, Blockchain, and cryptocurrency. However, there is still room for improvement.
Understanding Regulatory Bodies Lead To Competent Lawyers
It is speculated that the cryptocurrency will replace the traditional finance system; hence, it is obvious that Institutions such as the US Department of Treasury, SEC, and US Congress will play a vital role in cryptocurrency and its implementation.
The main purpose of the SEC is to oversee the trade of stocks, bonds, and other assets on the market. In the past couple of years, the SEC has added Bitcoin to its portfolio and other cryptocurrencies to regulate US Exchanges. It should be noted that the SEC has a high degree of authority to implement weak to strong laws regarding the implementation of Bitcoin and take legal action against entities that may offer fraudulent ICOs. SEC has shown strong optimism for Cryptocurrencies and has also shown interest in developing security laws for them. In the eyes of the SEC, Bitcoin is considered a “commodity” concerning the Howey Test.
The FinCEN has also issued statements regarding subjecting cryptocurrencies to the Bank Secrecy Act to prevent money laundering and other illegal dealings. With the inclusion of cryptocurrency in the US Treasury, it will be a good opportunity for students opting for security law in the corporate sector. The IRS, on the other hand, still considers Crypto as property instead of currency.
Ethical Obligations May Depend On It
With the increase in the use of crypto, it is natural to assume that your future clients may have thousands or even billions worth of investment in crypto/digital assets; hence it is crucial that as a lawyer, you must have an insight into the mechanics of this type of investment. Failure to keep up with this set of knowledge will not be good for your career as a lawyer. One needs to have empirical knowledge on what Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies are and how they can be used for financial malpractices and money laundering. In addition, by ethical standards, lawyers are obliged to submit complete information to the court. Not considering crypto as a part of the information will raise questions on your ethics as a lawyer.
Corporate law, for instance, takes into account stocks, bonds, and other various digital assets into consideration. Similarly, digital currencies have also been added to this list. It is therefore important for lawyers to learn what digital currencies are and how they can be manipulated. It is now a need of the hour to implement the dynamics of cryptocurrencies into the law school’s academic curriculum.