Recently, the state bar of North Carolina made it possible for attorneys to accept cryptocurrency as a flat fee for representing the client. After Nebraska, North Carolina is the second state to have issued an advisory specifying the guidance for accepting cryptocurrency as fees.
All the transactions done by cryptocurrency are documented in a decentralized ledger, the blockchain. These digital currencies can be traded on crypto exchanges in the same way as stock exchanges. However, these currencies are highly volatile and “fluctuate significantly and unpredictably from day to day.”
Therefore, the client and the attorney should come to a consensus regarding the time at which the value of the digital currency would be determined. It is recommended to decide this at the initial stage of their association.
It is because of this that an agreement regarding the time of determination of the valuation of the digital currency should be clearly decided on between the client and the attorney at the beginning of their association.
In spite of the risk and instability linked with the crypto markets, big players in the law industry and also many law firms have started accepting virtual currency as payment for their services.
According to the opinion of the bar association, cryptocurrency is a property and not currency. Therefore, the fees should be fair and rational for the client. Cryptocurrency can be utilized as a retainer payment and as it is a property, so it has to be kept in a “suitable place of safekeeping.” The virtual currency can be kept in a digital wallet or cold storage. It is advised that the terms of payment be consented in writing by both the parties in consultation with a third party attorney.