Courting Bitcoin? Nebraska Ethics Board Gives Lawyers OK to Accept


Lawyersin Nebraska can now accept cryptocurrency as payment, according to a brand-new advisory viewpoint released by an ethics committee designated by the state’s supreme court.

TheLawyers’ Advisory Committee is an eight-member body that reacts to questions from lawyers in Nebraska, weighing them versus the state’s Rules of ProfessionalConduct The viewpoint itself is unique, making up the very first time that a state ethics body has actually thought about a concern associated to cryptocurrency payments.

Accordingto the advisory, dated September 11, the demand concentrated on 3 components: whether a lawyer can get cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as payment; whether straight from a customer or from a 3rd party; and whether they can hold cryptocurrencies in escrow or trust on behalf of the customer. The response, the file details, is mainly yes– with some cautions.

Citinga requirement that no customer might be charged expensive a cost, the committee stated that, while an attorney might accept a cryptocurrency, it should instantly be transformed to U.S. dollars.

This, the committee argued, would “mitigate the risk of volatility and possible unconscionable overpayment for services.”

Forthird-party payments, the viewpoint specifies that they can be accepted “so long as the payment prevents possible interference with the attorney’s independent relationship with the client.” Further, the legal representative should determine the celebration sending out the payment.

TheAdvisory Committee offered its approval to the concern on holding cryptocurrencies in escrow, as they “are property rather than actual currency,” as long as the holdings are kept different from the legal representative’s own residential or commercial property. They should be protected, according to the viewpoint, and records require to be kept for a five-year duration.

Notably, the file requires making use of multi-signature wallets to keep funds kept in escrow more safe and secure.

“Other reasonable measures may include maintenance of the wallet in a computer or other storage device that is disconnected from the Internet (also known as “freezer”), a method that would also allow for off-line storage of one or more private keys,”the viewpoint includes.

Mapimage by means of Shutterstock

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