Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

People

Big things are happening at Ogier. Change is embedded in everything we do. It is redefining our talent, our ways of working, our platforms of delivery, our culture.

Expertise

Services

We have the expertise to handle the most demanding transactions. Our commercial understanding and experience of working with leading financial institutions, professional advisers and regulatory bodies means we add real value to clients’ businesses.

View all services

Business Services Team

View all Business Services Team

Sectors

Our sector approach relies on smart collaboration between teams who have a deep understanding of related businesses and industry dynamics. The specific combination of our highly informed experts helps our clients to see around corners.

View all sectors

Locations

Ogier provides practical advice on BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Irish, Jersey and Luxembourg law through our global network of offices across the Asian, Caribbean and European timezones. Ogier is the only firm to advise on this unique combination of laws.

News and insights

Keep up to date with industry insights, analysis and reviews. Find out about the work of our expert teams and subscribe to receive our newsletters straight to your inbox.

Fresh thinking, sharper opinion.

About us

We get straight to the point, managing complexity to get to the essentials. Our global network of offices covers every time zone. 

No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Components.General.Banners.BannerComponentVm

Cryptocurrency - a diamond in the rough or fool's gold?

Insight

28 February 2018

Ireland

2 min read

Many believe that cryptocurrency with underlying blockchain technology has the power to disrupt our global economy.

Hard to believe, right? Particularly when considering the murky past of cryptocurrency. Transaction anonymity made it the payment method of choice for those involved in cybercrime and other online illegal activities. With cryptocurrencies, it becomes much harder to trace transactions and determine the identities of the participants. Central banks and other global financial institutions seem to have no control over its operations. 

Regulatory challenges

The cryptocurrency market is constantly changing, leaving regulators struggling to understand ways to control trading.

Cryptocurrencies don’t fit traditional regulatory definitions. As a result, crackdowns on cryptocurrencies have commenced. China has banned ICOs and cryptocurrency trading. South Korea has halted ICOs and anonymous trading. Japan has now introduced a licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges. 

Another problem lies in how cryptocurrencies are defined. The US, for instance, classifies cryptocurrencies as commodities. As a result, cryptocurrencies come under the remit of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This agency doesn't have the power to enforce cybersecurity checks or to audit transactions, falling well short of the expected governance model for an online currency. 

The unseen - energy consumption 

In November 2017, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its demands have only grown, caused by its complex problem-solving 'mining' component. It’s now on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru, according to estimates from Digiconomist. That’s commensurate with CO2 emissions of 20 mega tonnes – or roughly one million transatlantic flights. 

The future 

Although a growing number of merchants now accept cryptocurrencies, they are very much in the minority. Cryptocurrencies must become more accessible. The relative complexity of using cryptocurrency compared to traditional currencies lends itself towards the technologically adept. This must change if cryptocurrency and digital money are to become mainstream.

For further information on this topic please contact LexTech or visit www.lextech.ie.

About Ogier

Ogier is a professional services firm with the knowledge and expertise to handle the most demanding and complex transactions and provide expert, efficient and cost-effective services to all our clients. We regularly win awards for the quality of our client service, our work and our people.

Disclaimer

This client briefing has been prepared for clients and professional associates of Ogier. The information and expressions of opinion which it contains are not intended to be a comprehensive study or to provide legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for specific advice concerning individual situations.

Regulatory information can be found under Legal Notice

No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Blocks.SiteBlocks.CookiePolicySiteBlockVm