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Blockcast.cc. Good morning everyone. Today we have an interesting crypto expert, Gordon Einstein for our interview. He seems like a fun guy when we watched his Crypro Wednesday show but then again he is an attorney. Well, tell us about yourself Gordon. Your hobbies, education, career.
Gordon: Ok, my name is Gordon Einstein. I am a hybrid Crypto-Attorney, Technologist, and Enterprise Strategist. I received my undergraduate degree in Politics in 1991 from Brandeis University in Boston and then received my JD in 1995 from the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles.
I am also a proud Eagle Scout, having served in Boy Scout Troop 223. Initially, my law practice centred on startup, venture capital, investment banking, regulatory compliance, intellectual property and general business law. As an avid computer and programming hobbyist, in 2012 I was intrigued by Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and the related technologies.
By 2014, I was providing legal services to several individuals and companies operating in this space. And by 2016 the majority of my law practice involved working with crypto, blockchain and FinTech startups and funds, including as Chief Legal Officer of Distributed Lab. The practice was formalized as CryptoLaw Partners in 2017.
I frequently speak and educates both in the United States and internationally. Some common themes are issues and developments relating to cryptocurrency, the legal aspects of FinTech, structuring blockchain startups, ICOs/STOs, and AML/KYC compliance.
Blockcast.cc: How do you manage between being a Crypto-Attorney and FinTech+Blockchain expert? You must be really busy coping.
Gordon: It is true – I am extremely busy Smiling face with smiling eyes. But, these two things work together. I am first and foremost an attorney who specializes in blockchain and crypto. That is my passion and my focus. On top of that, in some cases and for legal clients only, I also very selectively offer strategic advice and consulting. This works out for me because I am highly invested in my clients’ successes. If I can help sharpen their business models and make certain introductions, including to investors, then all the better.
Blockcast.cc: Can you share your views on the current Defi space? How can it be better?
Gordon: I think DeFi is both real and has great potential. Of course, there are issues and problems. But, I don’t think that everything is a scam or that everyone is out to cheat. Just look at Yam – that issue was a software bug, not an intentionally bad act. And, they are coming out with Yam 2.0 which seems to address the bug and make the original token holders whole. Also, with Sushi Swap, I am not sure that the originator did anything wrong by cashing out other than violating certain social norms and expectations. Plus, he has “repented” and returned everything. That seems to be pretty ethical behaviour to me. Of course – buyer beware. In any case, the rollout of automated market makers (AMMs) are providing much-needed liquidity for DEXs – something which was always missing. Really, liquidity is the key to everything.
Blockcast.cc: Do you think Eth will continue to be the leader in the DeFi space? Will Tron, EOS and all catch-up?
Gordon: This is a great question and I do not know the answer. Tron may struggle because of those original SEC issues. EOS has some governance issues. But… every platform has its challenges. Obviously, Ethereum is currently too slow and gas is too expensive. Perhaps Ethereum 2.0 will address these issues. I think another way to look at it is – there is room for more than one “right” blockchain in DeFi. And, real solutions will allow cross-chain optimization and atomic swaps of both tokens and contract execution. So, no one single blockchain can “relax” and assume that it will stay dominant.
Blockcast.cc: What are your views on Bitcoin? Do you want it to remain as the Number 1? Or would other tokens overtake this position?
Gordon: I love Bitcoin – it got me into this area of law. Do I want it, meaning BTC, to stay as number 1? Honestly, I don’t care. I want blockchain and crypto to rule the world. So long as true exemplars of those technologies and approaches are dominant, I am neutral as to whether this or that instance is on top. But… I do like BTC as at least a store of value.
Blockcast.cc: Something more light-hearted. What is your happiest moment in crypto?
Gordon: I love that crypto enabled me to travel the world these past few years. I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to speak and keynote many international conferences. All the people I have met have brought great joy to my life and taught me new perspectives. It makes me a bit sad that I cannot travel right now (and am stuck in the USA) because of COVID, but hopefully, this will resolve relatively soon. That said, Zoom has been a lifesaver – it is nice to stay in my office and yet be able to meet “face to face” with everyone around the world.
Blockcast.cc: Just for fun, do you think Bitcoin will hit $500,000 per coin?
Gordon: When the US dollar crashes/stops being the primary world reserve currency – so 2027. BTW, I don’t know if that is the “fun” answer, but there you go.
Blockcast.cc: Do you think governments will really embrace crypto? What do you think will happen in the future?
Gordon: I think most governments, except for the USA, are already embracing crypto a bit – because they have to, because they see some competitive advantages for themselves, and because they don’t want to be left behind. You see this in the race for Central Bank Digital Currencies like China’s. The real question is whether they will embrace crypto which they cannot control (at least in theory), such as Bitcoin, Monero, ZCash and the like. That – I do not know. But, for certain government operations, “independent” currencies like that are useful.
Blockcast.cc: What regulatory trends will you see in the next 6-12 months?
Gordon: More of the same. The USA will move slowly. China will keep things under lockdown at home, but their money will be invested through gateways offered by offshore Chinese. Europe will move ahead strongly and Africa + Gulf States will surprise and impress us. Bermuda will be the new base of Caribbean smart regulation. Also, I love what has just happened in Switzerland with their new regulations. That is actually how it should be done.
Blockcast.cc: Ok, back to something light before we end this interview. Share with us an inspiring quote.
Gordon: Well, that is another good question. I don’t know if I have an inspiring quote. BUT… I did have an interesting thought today. Vitalik Buterin famously said, “Code is Law”. I would actually go the other way – “Law is Code”. I mean that literally. Right now, this moment, law is code. Read the law, including the court cases, and it becomes clear that all human law, right now, is poorly written pseudo-code. But it is nonetheless actual code. Our job is to refactor the code which is law to make it clean and beautiful and ultimately far more usable.
Blockcast.cc: Thanks Gordon. Thanks for your insights.