Clifford Chance corporate finance partner Alex Erasmus is to join a blockchain software company later this year as its new chief legal officer.
London-based Erasmus will join the executive committee of Block.one in Hong Kong. Block.one is the software publisher behind open-source blockchain protocol EOSIO, which was launched in June 2018 and provides secure and decentralised transfer of data.
Erasmus, who joined Clifford Chance in 2001 and was made up partner in 2007, specialises in global corporate finance, M&A and regulation. He has been based in London, as well as Moscow, during his career with Clifford Chance.
His legal background suits his new role at Block.one, where he will be in charge of regulatory and compliance matters and will report to president Rob Jesudason. Erasmus will take on the reins from former chief legal officer Wendy Lee, who has moved into consultancy. He will also work with new general counsel Lee Scheider who joined Block.one’s New York office this year from McDermott Will & Emery.
“It’s a fascinating time in technology from a legal and regulatory point of view, and blockchain is a particularly dynamic industry,” Erasmus said in a statement. “Block.one is a world leader in blockchain and its EOSIO software is driving adoption at a rapid rate.”
Jesudason highlighted how regulation surrounding blockchain technologies “continues to evolve positively.”
A report published by Netscribes predicts that the blockchain technology market could reach £13.96bn by 2022, with an annual growth rate of 42.8 per cent. Blockchain is also increasingly used in the legal profession, where, according to PWC figures, a total of 41 per cent of law firms surveyed in 2017 were using or planning to use blockchain solutions for transactional legal services and 31 per cent for high-value legal services.
Block.One, originally a Cayman company but with extensions in Hong Kong, California and Virginia, has been beefing its executive team after nabbing $4bn in investment.