Blockchain technology and smart contracts enable new and exciting business models both in Austria and internationally. However, many legal systems – including the Austrian – are not fully prepared for this rapidly developing technology. Using disruptive blockchain technology is still associated with numerous legal issues in various areas. Applying blockchain technology without legal support therefore exposes your company to substantial risk, especially in the financial sector and the processing of personal data.
As an innovative and forward-looking law firm, we constantly review developments that open up new business opportunities for our clients. Blockchain technology and smart contracts are of course such a development. Our continuing focus on technology, media and telecommunications, IT and data protection law, as well as digitalisation & start-ups, enables us to apply our comprehensive expertise in the area of blockchain technology and smart contracts. Our specialist lawyers can advise you on civil, corporate or tax law issues as well as on the compatibility of your innovation with the legal framework of regulated sectors such as the finance and insurance industry. This enables us to offer you and your company precisely the expertise that enables practice-oriented and sustainable solutions for blockchain applications.
Blockchain and its applications
Entering public consciousness due to its use as the infrastructure for trading crypto-currencies, "the" blockchain has since found application in many other areas and industries. Secure financial transactions are thus only one possible use. In addition to banks and insurance companies as well as FinTechs and InsurTechs, blockchain is also of interest, for example, when storing personal data. The use of blockchain technology in industry – for example, in the food industry for tracking supply chains – is also becoming ever more apparent.
Next step: smart contracts
Our clients are also increasingly encountering smart contracts. Executed on a blockchain, smart contracts enable an exchange of services to be automatically controlled, monitored and documented by coding information and linking it to specific, pre-determined conditions. However, legal questions, particularly in connection with disruptions to performance and warranty claims as well as data protection issues, are also growing in importance. These must be addressed with specialist expertise.
Avoiding risks with the right legal advice
Blockchain technology offers extremely high security at very low cost. We are committed to preparing and supporting you so that you can benefit as much as possible from blockchain technology. For this purpose, we take advantage of our international CMS network with over 160 lawyers from more than 40 countries specialising in blockchain to offer the following key services:
- Support with regulatory assessment and legal advice on blockchain-based business models
- Support during market launch of blockchain applications including legal advice on development, financing and structuring
- Advice on designing smart contracts
- Legal advice on initial coin offerings (ICOs), initial token offerings (ITOs) and security token offerings (STOs)
- Assistance with data protection compliance when using blockchain technology
- Advice about Austria as a location for establishing international start-ups in the blockchain environment
- Guidance on tax matters including how crypto-currencies and crypto-assets are treated for the purposes of income tax and sales tax
- Advice to both institutional and private investors on investments in crypto-currencies and crypto-assets
- Help with the development, implementation and review of Compliance Management Systems (CMS), for example in the area of money laundering prevention
- Advice on corporate law issues, structuring of transactions at home and abroad
- Assistance with capital measures, regulatory issues and representation before supervisory authorities
Get to know our blockchain & smart contracts experts here!