Dechert Assists in the Development of Blockchain-Based BerkShares Platform
Dechert has assisted in the development of the BerkShares platform, in what is expected to be an exciting new application of blockchain technology within the context of a digitized local currency. The app is being rolled out over the next few weeks, with the goal of having it accepted at all the 400+ businesses in the BerkShares program.
Dechert’s fintech team worked with its client, the Schumacher Center, and a consortium including BerkShares, banks and app developers, for over a year in migrating BerkShares to a blockchain-based system, addressing unique regulatory and licensing issues.
“With digital money transmission, there are always complex regulatory securities and banking considerations at both state and federal level,” says partner Timothy Spangler, “and with increasing interest in sustainability, this technology enables local currencies to reach larger markets and is potentially a model for other local currency development.”
Other recent innovations in the fintech space that Dechert has assisted with include a first-of-its-kind SEC registered mutual fund using blockchain to distribute and trade traditional financial assets, the launch of a private Bitcoin fund, and securing regulatory approval for an Asian fund manager to invest in crypto assets from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
“As this exciting BerkShares app shows, our experience in financial technology spans both innovative start-ups as well as established asset managers,” says Spangler. “Innovation comes in many forms, and some of the best ideas come from growing businesses as well as the more traditional market players.”
Dechert’s team includes partners Timothy Spangler and David Harris, and associates Andrew Schaffer, Sam Scarritt-Selman, and Chanté Eliaszadeh.
Dechert is a leading global law firm with 22 offices around the world. The firm advises on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.