In recent years, I’ve developed a small, but growing legal practice in certain innovative areas of technology, including cryptocurrencies, distributed ledgers (Blockchain and Hashgraph). And, as they move from concept to execution, I anticipate smart contracts being a large part of my world. This part of my law practice comes out of my broader technology law practice. So, let me start there before talking about these more cutting-edge areas.
I represent a lot of technology clients. I was a venture capitalist during Dotcom 1.0 and I can talk somewhat intelligently about most technology concepts (admittedly, not all) – certainly enough to understand and proficiently navigate the intersection of law and technology. And, being a lawyer based in Austin, Texas, working with startups means there are a lot of clients out there.
I almost ended up “in tech.” When I was a boy, I programmed computers. Back then, I was using a special version of BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS 80 computer. Was I ever into it! I’d develop in-depth, word-based role-playing games and was even able to create a graphic version of a game that looked something like Space Invaders. And, I spent hours as a kid on CompuServe – one precursor to today’s Internet.
In college, I was briefly a Computer Sciences major (in 1990, we were programming in COBOL and it was a huge process to run a program!). In the end, I majored in Economics. I’ve always been fascinated with business. Economics scratched that itch and I haven’t programmed since.
Though my life today is more about words (law) than it is about numbers (economics and programming), I get a good taste of tech vicariously through my clients. And, I miss the logic and creativity programming requires. Creating a contract from scratch has similar elements, although it’s not entirely the same.