Who is this certain Mr. Preston Byrne ? I have no idea. Apparently he's "Adam Smith's Institute's Preston Byrne", which doesn't say anything to me. I have no idea what that hallowed institution does, and on the strength of my only - fugitive - interaction with a purported representative of it so far I don't feel at all inclined to find out. Which is perhaps a point of note for other similar entities with aspirations towards the public forum.
Other than that, he does conveniently include a bio in his otherwise muchly neglected blog, like so :
2013-present: Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
2013-present: Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
2011-2013: Junior Associate, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
2009-2011: Trainee, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
2011: Solicitor, England and Wales (admitted September 2011)
2009: LL.B., College of Law (London Bloomsbury/Moorgate)
2006: M.A. (Hons) International Relations, University of St Andrews
So, young an as they say "dynamic" lawyer guy. As discussed elsewhere, even less young and therefore less "dynamic" which is to say a lot more experienced lawyer folk have very serious trouble spotting fallacious reasoning in their own mental process. This problem is universal, but it is universally aggravated by the dynamism of youth.
In the six months since crypto began taking over my life, I’ve noticed that the apparent untouchability of the blockchain by government has been interpreted by many – whether in the context of classical BTC transactions or 2.0 “smart contract” functionality - to mean that national legal systems can (and should) be disregarded, or even (in some cases) that blockchain-based technology will render legal systems obsolete.
Don’t quite get what I mean? Have a look at this correspondence - between Mircea Popescu of MPex, the Bitcoin securities exchange, and a senior attorney of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – as an example:
This is a theme I’ve seen repeated, again and again, by numerous individuals in the community over several months. It’s also totally wrong.
To the extent cryptocurrency wants to be used to deal in real-world assets by real-world people, it will have to deal with real-world rules – and old-school sovereigns – of necessity. Also, if the crypto train is going to leave the station to any meaningful extent, cooperating with government – not fighting it – is going to lead to faster adoption, greater “disruption” (though I loathe that particular term) and the more rapid realisation of the technology’s benefits to consumers, as I pointed out in an article posted over at the Adam Smith Institute earlier this week.
How then, do we get applications – whether 1.0 or “2.0″ smart contracts – to work within a legal framework? Easy: structuring, which is what this blog is going to be about from this day forward.
I could scarcely imagine a more blatant case of dynamic young lawyer moving his eyes on the written line and "reading" the noise going on in his head.
For one thing, my post does not comment in any way on the sovereignity of already present sovereigns, other than the implication that they'll be fine once they understand their place and role in the world. A world which they are sharing, whether they want to or not, whether they understand this or not, whether they will accept this from writ or from sword, a world which they are sharing with other sovereigns, of which Bitcoin is one. While Mr. Byrne reads my letters as if they had said "the SEC must dissolve itself", that is at no point what's written on paper there. And, heed my words Mr. Byrne, if you've not heeded the words of however numerous teachers you may have encountered in your studies of the law : he who can not read what's writ on paper can not work for the law. Ever.
For the other thing, the SEC does manage to embarrass itself quite abundantly, in that process, which point was not lost on more perceptive observers than our dynamic fellow here. Which is why shutting the fuck up and reading the #bitcoin-assets logs is so important for aspiring, dynamic young minds, no matter how well qualified they mistakenly misrepresent themselves to be. It's there. It's all there.
And finally... to imagine I perceive the law as scary is to undeservingly flatter yourself. The law in my hands is what's scary, just as you get to witness its glorious splendor, and to the degree it scared the pants off people who up until they casually ran into me one fine spring day misrepresented themselves as senior counsel for whatever respectable institutions.
More reading. Less thinking the world is brown because you can't see shit for the shit all over your eyes.———
- If that blog had a functioning means of commenting, this post'd have maybe been a comment. Maybe not. [↩]