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Understanding Crypto Legal Finance & Compliance Teams
Digital Assets still has lessons to learn when it comes to Compliance, Finance and Legal. There isn’t much certainty yet, but this doesn’t mean that a “wait and see” attitude is best.
Financial institutions typically have larger Compliance and Legal teams to cope with the volume of regulation, processes, reporting & managing infrastructure, as opposed to Crypto companies.
• is narrowly regulated, with specific
AML and KYC regulations
• is lightly regulated, with much ambiguity
• operates significantly outside of the realm of
• as an immature industry, with limited headcount, leading to one person or team overseeing aspects
Finance, Compliance and Legal, creating a conflict of interest
As Crypto companies evolve and grow, their departments and leadership will have to flex, with many individuals taking on multiple hats. The unique development pathway for Crypto has meant that the following activities and responsibilities have begun emerging, aligned to the following teams:
Board and Corporate management of legal risk
Interpret regulations and ensure product & business alignment, especially with a future awareness of regulatory trends
Manage and track all assets, liabilities and reserves
Ensure rules are followed
As Crypto companies move into new jurisdictions, with new products, existing Compliance, Finance and Regulation must be considered and separate teams can help ensure that requirements are met without sacrificing the quality or innovation of the product. Some of the benefits of this are:
Avoiding Conflict of Interest
: By having separate teams with different subject-matter expertise helps avoid potential conflicts of interest.
: Having a dedicated, empowered Compliance team provides an extra layer of checks and balances to help reduce potential risks associated with non-compliance, such as fines and legal action from regulators.
: To regulators, having separate teams shows an organisation’s commitment to taking regulations seriously and demonstrates an understanding of the importance of adhering to these rules.
The dividing lines between Crypto Finance, Regulatory, Compliance & Legal functions is not as straightforward as in Traditional Finance. It takes different blends of responsibilities and people depending on where you are on the maturity journey — from startups, where creativity and flexibility are key, to larger organisations where stability is paramount. But, regardless everyone needs an awareness that their roles can change drastically as law, regulation and business develops.
The Digital Asset space is evolving at rates faster than most can keep up with. Those businesses that build better corporate data governance, with strong Legal, Regulatory, Compliance & Finance business units will be best placed to absorb upcoming regulatory initiatives and continue to grow.
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