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Virginia Law Firm Plans to Accept Bitcoin for Payment
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A Virginia law firm may be the first in its area to accept bitcoin for payment.

Summary: A Virginia law firm hopes to practice law ahead of the curve by accepting Bitcoin, a virtual currency, from its clients.

According to Roanoke.com, a Virginia firm may be the first in its area to accept the virtual currency called Bitcoin. According to Wikipedia, this currency was invented in 2008 and was introduced as open-source software in 2009.

  
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Anderson, Desimone & Green has offices in Blacksburg, Moneta, and Roanoke. It recently announced that it will accept Bitcoin in addition to traditional forms of currency.

Chris Desimone, the president of the law firm, is not too concerned about any security risks of the currency or the perception of Bitcoin by some as being unstable.  Desimone is confident that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies will eventually be very common in the marketplace.

A Portland law firm recently represented a party involved in a Bitcoin lawsuit.

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According to Desimone, Bitcoin has given both consumers and merchants additional flexibility with their transactions. He said, “I know the world is not caught up to digital currency yet, but I do believe it’s the direction it’s going. We’re not expecting a big boost in business or anything, but I do believe underlying block chain technology is the way of the future.”

The firm has about 3,000 clients. Although none of the clients have yet paid with Bitcoin, the firm wanted to offer it as an option. Accepting Bitcoin may offer benefits to the firm as well, such as avoiding fees associated with other types of payment. “It’s just a matter of accessibility and being innovative,” Desimone explained.



Desimone’s firm offers estate planning services, which assists individuals with ensuring that client assets are passed on properly. Though many of Desimone’s clients are elderly, accepting Bitcoin could help the children of clients who are assisting with their estate planning. In addition, Desimone said that older adults are “more flexible than people think.”

Last year, a bankrupt Bitcoin exchange discovered millions in offline wallets.

Desimone added, “It’s really just one more way to expand services. Sometimes you have to do it with brick and mortar, and sometimes you do it online with digital currency. There are different ways to reach markets. But I’m telling you, this is where it’s going.”

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Bitcoins may be purchased on exchanges or even directly from other people with cash, wire transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. Each user is provided with an account number which will be logged on the system’s public ledger that lists holders of the currency. An encrypted signature is assigned to each user and is required to transfer Bitcoins to another individual. The signature is not listed on the public database.

According to CNN, Bitcoin can be used to purchase items anonymously, and international payments are a cinch since the currency is not tied to a certain country or subject to regulation.

Bitcoin holders keep their money in a digital “wallet” that can be backed up onto a computer hard drive or transferred to an offline storage device to protect the funds from hackers or computer errors.

Desimone said that his firm will be using the digital wallet and exchange program Coinbase to sell Bitcoins in exchange for cash. He added that the firm may make purchases with the Bitcoins it receives.

As of 6:40 p.m. Friday, a Bitcoin was worth $253.73, up close to $14 from the closing of the markets on Thursday.

Desimone commented that he was not aware of other law firms that were accepting Bitcoin.

Last year, the vice president of bitcoin was arrested for money laundering.

Coinmap.org, a website that lists places that accept Bitcoin, shows one business in the New River and Roanoke valleys that will receive Bitcoin. That business, Strapping Fellow, sells leather watch straps and is an online store that operates out of an apartment in Blacksburg.

Dan Larimer, the creator of BitShares, another virtual currency, agrees with Desimone’s prediction. “I think cryptocurrency depends on the network effect. The more people adopt and accept payment, the more successful the system will be as a whole.

According to Larimer, the decentralized nature of virtual currencies has made them attractive to many. Traditional money is handled at certain locations, but Bitcoin holders essentially function as their own banks. The holders also have more control over the security of their funds. Since a public ledger is also used, fraud will likely be reduced.

Larimer noted, “The cryptocurrency industry as a whole is going to revolutionize the entire financial sector.”

Source: Roanoke.com

Photo credit: armstrongeconomics.com



 

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