DreistStorgaard is a visionary Danish law firm focusing on quality, availability, promptness and involvement. As a Media Partner of the Nordic Blockchain Conference, I had the privilege to speak with Nikolaj Juhl Hansen, Partner at DreistStorgaard and specialised in M&A, corporate law, financial transactions, commercial contracts and international project management.
Nikolaj moderated the panel “Legal issues in blockchain” at the Nordic Blockchain Conference, and I took this opportunity to ask him a few questions about DreistStorgaard and his view on the future of the blockchain industry.
DreistStorgaard is a “visionary law firm”. What is your vision?
Our vision is to be the preferred collaboration partner of our clients, in a close partnership where accessibility, quality and engagement go hand in hand. DreistStorgaard is the biggest law firm (outside of Copenhagen) in the Danish main island Zealand and we count many of the fastest growing Danish upper level SME businesses among our clients. I joined on 1 November 2022 and with that DreistStorgaard, that originates as a regional law firm, opened up an office in Copenhagen.
You’re very active in the blockchain space: what are the legal challenges of the blockchain industry?
There are many legal challenges, but not as many as some people say. As with any novel technology, legislation comes halting after, and the absence of a regulated environment is the biggest challenge. But, we are getting there: I am seeing many players, in the blockchain industry, searching for legacy legislation to “piggyback” on. For instance, think about all the businesses in the blockchain fintech space that are chasing ways to become regulated and looking at what regulation looks like for “old life” companies.
A non-legal challenge is that, for many people outside of the industry, blockchain equals crypto. That misperception is causing a lot of blockchain technology-based businesses to suffer. I do not think that there are more fraudsters in the blockchain community than we see elsewhere. Maybe rather the opposite as I am seeing a lot of businesses based on ethical standards that are far superior to those in other sectors: the democratization of access to capital and investments as well as taking control over your own data is what drives many blockchain businesses.
The FTX scandal has had a strong impact on the crypto market. What do you think about crypto regulation?
I think it is good, and it is coming. With the EU MICA rules we will achieve a situation where many trades in cryptocurrencies and all crypto players will be regulated in the same manner as everyone else. That will drive trust from the consumers and commercial partners to the industry. So for me, even if a bit counter-intuitive when it comes to the idea behind blockchain, the more regulation the better.
What are the advantages of establishing a Web3 company in Denmark?
We have a very easy system for setting up a legal entity, and Denmark often appear at the very top of the rankings for “ease of doing business” worldwide. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has been actively working with businesses to lay out the regulatory landscape and create solutions for businesses seeking advice. With MICA, Denmark will also be part of the likely most advanced crypto-focused regulations in the world, and that will be a great feature for Denmark in terms of attracting Web3 companies.