10 Jan 2023 · 2 min read

These Businesses Will be The Survivors of the Crypto Winter, Says a Top Financial Services Lawyer

Source: Pixabay

Crypto companies that keep their faith in the sector, and that are able to harness the value of traditional risk management and compliance, will survive the crypto winter, one leading financial services lawyer has argued.

Writing in an opinion piece for The Hill, Thomas P. Vartanian, a financial services lawyer and executive director of the Financial Technology & Cybersecurity Center, made it clear that he believes regulations are coming to the world of crypto, and that only compliant players will survive.

“Those that built traditional risk management controls and created audited financial statements may make it if they are prepared to adapt to stringent new laws and regulations,” Vartanian said, possibly with reference to the collapse of FTX and the many questions being raised about Binance.

He added that these companies after their transformation will need to “look, feel and dress like serious companies.”

“The rest will likely go the way of Gaul,” the lawyer, who is also a former financial regulator, wrote.

“Classic due diligence” will come back

Vartanian further explained in his piece that “classic due diligence” – as we know it from the traditional financial sector – will be brought into the crypto space, whether the industry wants it or not. And unfortunately, much of the regulation can be expected to be unnecessary and overly complex.

“Congress, the states and foreign jurisdictions will knee-jerk themselves into unwieldly, cumbersome pieces of crypto legislation, only a fraction of which will be necessary or useful,” he wrote, before adding:

“But everyone will feel good about having done so much something about so little nothing.”

“The business of selling nothing”

In his piece, Vartanian cited several others who have described the crypto industry in less generous terms. Among them was Martin C.W. Walker, who Vartanian said described crypto firms as engaged in the business of “buying and selling nothing [...] mostly in return for different lumps of nothing.”

He also referenced a description of crypto traders and investors as people who are “foolish enough to pay real money for the privilege of moving nothing around inside nowhere to accomplish no purpose [...].”

A person like that “deserves to lose the real money,” Vartanian wrote.

And although it may seem counterintuitive that “selling nothing” can create long-term value, Vartanian said that the survivors in the crypto space will be the companies that realizes just that.

“There will be survivors of this crypto winter. They will be the companies that knew that the business of selling nothing would eventually blow up into something,” the lawyer and former regulator wrote.