IPAS Event: A Primer on Blockchain and Custody of Digital Assets for Insolvency Practitioners

A professional development event complimentary for IPAS members, earning accountant IPs 2 CPE points (Category 4) and lawyer IPs 1.5 CPD points with SILE.

1) Introduction to blockchain

– SMU Prof Paul Griffin made blockchain fundamentals easy to understand for non-IT specialists.

– His introduction included how blockchain works, its advantages and challenges, as well as, good insights with real examples of how blockchain is already being used in the market and how this is changing the way business is harnessing this new technology.

– The use of smart contracts in particular is interesting as to how it potentially changes the way lawyers work in dealing with smart contracts.

2) Taking over blockchain accounts

– IPs may have to recover and manage digital assets such as crypto currencies in the future.

– The talk covered various methods to take over blockchain accounts and also the challenges that IPs may face.

– The consensus seems to be that the regulatory and legal frameworks to deal with the issues of ownership and control of a blockchain account in an insolvency event is still being developed and lag behind the rapid pace of technological changes.

3) Use of digital asset custodians to support IPs

– CEO of fintech firm Onchain Custodian, Alexandre Kech, provided insights into how the industry of third-party custodians for digital assets have evolved.

– Digital custodians may be an important part of the fintech ecosystem in the future as they aim to provide the market with the necessary infrastructure in managing digital assets such as crypto currencies

– IPs will have significant opportunities to collaborate with fintech players such as digital assets custodians, in ensuring that the digital assets held comply with regulatory requirements of the future, have the technical expertise/knowledge to manage such assets, as well as, dealing with the operational aspects of managing blockchain accounts or digital assets.

Thanks to Adrian Chan, Co-chair of IPAS YIPC EXCO for sharing his notes of the event.