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Amy Harvey comments on the Law Commission Digital Asset Report

Amy Harvey, a partner specialising in the digital asset space at Ontier UK LLP commenting on the Digital Asset final report published by the Law Commission.


Commenting on the Digital Asset final report published by the Law Commission yesterday, Amy Harvey, a partner specialising in the digital asset space at Ontier UK LLP, says:


“My overall view of the report is that it is pragmatic and positive. Combined with anticipated regulatory change (which is inevitable even if there may be some differing views resulting from the Treasury and APPG reports published earlier this year), this helps support the UK’s ambitions to be a centre of excellence for crypto-based businesses and investors.
The proposed tripartite approach of targeted statutory reform, ongoing development of the common law and creation of an expert panel is novel but pragmatic in circumstances where our common law has coped impressively well thus far with the challenges of digital assets, with judicial decisions adapting longstanding concepts and reliefs.
The proposed statutory reform, codifying the “third category of things” will undoubtedly be important for future development – the question is how long this will take to enact. I have some concerns about the proposed panel called for to provide guidance on issues in the space. How this panel of experts is assembled, who features and what their mandate is will need to be considered very carefully, given the wider- ranging agendas and views on the value and definition of digital assets that exist. Of course, although the guidance referred to would supposedly be non-binding, in practice it is more than likely it will shape legal thinking and behaviour given the space is still evolving.
If enacted, I believe these proposals should help make recovery and enforcement in the digital asset sphere easier. The fact is this report is a blueprint for bringing digital assets further into the legal ecosystem and could influence the attitudes and behaviour of exchanges whose assistance is so often required when it comes to enforcement and who will want to be seen as good actors as we move towards a more regulated landscape.”

This comment was first published on citywealth Magazine.


For all questions regarding the topics raised in this article, please contact Amy Harvey or a member of our team.

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