On 7 February 2018, the first advisory board discussion for the Crypto Research Report was conducted. Dr. Oliver Völkel, LL.M. took part. In the discussion on “Crypto – Crash or Correction? Blockchain Market Outlook” the latest trends in the crypto world were discussed, including Initial Coin Offerings, the recent market crash of Bitcoin, legal requirements for an investment in cryptos and why institutions and banks are not leading the blockchain market yet. Dr. Völkel, LL.M., an advisor for the Crypto Research Report and Incrementum AG, shared his thoughts on the past developments of the Blockchain technology and expressed his positive view on the increased interest from potential clients, especially when it comes to choosing Austria as a crypto business hub: “What’s very interesting is that in particular German corporations are moving to Austria to do crypto business in Austria, to headquarter their businesses here and then try to go back to Germany with their services because it’s simply much easier here in Austria to do cryptocurrency related business because of the regulation and laws that apply in Austria compared to Germany.“, said Oliver Völkel. However, one of the most important factors that prevent cryptocurrencies from going mainstream, among regulatory measures that make the market entrance difficult, is the lack of public understanding of the blockchain and the dangers that come with it: “I have therefore seen an increase of individual clients who have fallen for such scams. If it continues it has the potential to damage the whole effort that we put into this to make cryptocurrencies become more mainstream. I think this is something we should all work together with to try to avoid.“. And even though regulations on cryptocurrencies are still being established and can sometimes be unclear, “it’s not the Wild West“, in the words of Oliver Völkel. “There are regulations that you have to adhere to, and if you don’t, either you fall under the capital markets law which is quite severe since there’s criminal punishment looming ahead of you, but also if you’re creating just regular token, there’s legislation you have to adhere to, which would be the consumer rights directive, for example. So there is no law-free space, so to speak.“. Exciting news on the legal situation in Austria is the update of the fourth anti-money laundering directive, which will pass soon and will for the first time include a definition of what a cryptocurrency is.
The minutes of the whole Advisory Board Meeting can be found here.