Professional Services Are Increasingly Accepting Cryptocurrencies, Regulations Emerging Author: Trevor Smith Last Updated: 23 September 2017 As the cryptocurrency revolution moves forward, signs of mainstream adoption are becoming evident across the professional world. Increasingly, skilled service providers are entering the crypto space. Many are accepting it as payment, whereas others are incorporating cryptocurrencies into their business practices. By embracing cryptocurrency, these players are helping to promote the legitimacy and utility of digital assets among the general public. Many of the professionals that now accept cryptocurrency have made this move after being tasked with managing it on behalf of their clients. Increasingly lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors have found themselves navigating issues involving digital assets. In this environment, it is not surprising that they have recognized crypto’s potential. This trend has increased the need for regulations and guidelines in various industries. For example, the Nebraska Lawyers Advisory Committee, a state board that oversees professional ethics for Nebraska’s lawyers, has issued a report outlining the the standards for accepting cryptocurrencies as legal fees. Known as an advisory, the report resolves several issues that are potentially problematic. For example, it defines cryptocurrency as property rather than currency, and it requires lawyers to immediately convert crypto into fiat upon receipt. It also affirms the need to follow established ethical rules when handling cryptocurrency on behalf of clients, such as keeping it separate from other funds and storing it securely. These Nebraska rules are especially significant in that they will likely be used as a model by other regulatory bodies as cryptocurrency protocols are established across the professional world. These regulations are gradually emerging. For example, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has developed a number of guidelines concerning accepting, managing, and recording digital assets. To better understand the future role of digital currencies in the professional world, one need only look to the tremendous popularity of crypto on college campuses. It has moved out of computer science departments, and is being studied, and embraced, by students seeking a wide range of careers. It is now generally understood that a thorough knowledge of blockchain technology will be necessary in many fields such as law, accounting, and finance. This fact all but guarantees that the next generation of professionals will embrace the use of cryptocurrency wholesale. Of particular note is the fact that these young professionals will also be the next generation of lawmakers, and will no doubt seek to legalize, and normalize, all aspects of its use. Although the number of clients pay for professional services with cryptocurrency remains low, the number is growing. This fact, and increasing number of skilled workers willing to accept it, is a clear sign that digital currency is no longer a novelty. It is only a matter of time before accepting and managing crypto is viewed as a normal part of doing business.