Tech Supreme Court – Cryptocurrency Edition Where Law and Innovation Unite

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On May 25th, 2023, the first edition of the Tech Supreme Court gathered more than 200 entrepreneurs and decision-makers from the realms of economics, law, technology, and finance. During this fictional pop-up court at Hémicycle ECCL in Luxembourg, top experts and enthusiasts from the Luxembourgish ecosystem examined the legal, social, and economic impacts of cryptocurrencies.

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26/05/2023 |
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The trial started with Kamel Amroune, CEO of The Dots, who thanked the attendees for their presence, and the sponsors and partners of the first Tech Supreme Court for their support. In a few words, he introduced the Court and the topic of the day: cryptocurrencies.

Robert Scharfe, Administrator and Independent Advisor at Odgers Berndtson Luxembourg, Solenne Niedercorn-Desouches, FinTech Advisor, and Georges Bock, Founder at Moniflo opened the hearing. The judges shared a short speech in turn and introduced the Court and the six jurors: Analia Clouet, Secretary General and the Deputy Head of the Legal Department at Banque Raiffeisen, Alex Panican, Deputy CEO at The LHoFT, Laurent Pulinckx, CIO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Serena Boukelmoun, Youth Leader, Loic Didelot, CEO of MixVoip, and Christine Hansen, CEO of Christine Means Business.

Furthermore, the judges announced the six counts of indictment brought against the cryptocurrencies.

The trial: statements, and presentation of evidence and witness testimony

Georges Bock, Founder at Moniflo introduced Emilie Allaert, the attorney and Thierry Labro, the “incorruptible” General Prosecutor. They both conducted interviews with each witness, addressing all six charges against cryptocurrencies, with the aim of examining their legal status, revealing their complexities and potential, and understanding their significant societal impact.

The trial began with the presentation of initial facts surrounding the issue of financial inclusion, as revealed by Judge Solenne Niedercorn-Sedouches. Each party presented its evidences, and Romain Swertvaeger, Audit Associate Partner at EY Luxembourg, and Darina Mohamad, Transactional lawyer at Elvinger Hoss Prussen were called to the witness stand to testify. They addressed the challenges faced by cryptocurrency users such as accessibility, the need to facilitate widespread adoption, and market volatility. Romain Swertvaeger discussed financial inclusion in Luxembourg, the issue of identity, potential solutions to address the problem, as well as how this innovation has aided the most vulnerable and the favorable initiatives undertaken so far. Darina Mohamad testified on the importance of financial inclusion in investment funds, highlighting the benefits of cryptocurrencies such as speed, usability, security, and accessibility. She also addressed due diligence, risks, scams, and the potential of crypto for financial inclusion through education and donation initiatives.

Georges Bock then introduced the second theme that emerged during this trial: the speed and low transaction costs associated with cryptocurrencies. To support this perspective, Louis Chevalier, Adoption Manager Benelux at Tezos, and Owen Simonin, aka Hasheur, CEO of Meria were summoned to testify in favor of cryptocurrencies. The first witness especially highlighted the advantages of cryptocurrencies: “better, faster, stronger”. He underscored faster execution, traceability, and lower transaction costs. Owen Simonin, on the other hand, emphasized the potential of blockchain technology, putting forward decentralization, portability, and ability to bridge societal gaps.

Continuing the proceedings, it was Robert Scharfe's turn to take the floor and address the third charge, concerning data privacy protection. This time, Laurent Kratz, CEO of Neofacto, was questioned by the Prosecutor and the Attorney. He explained the impact of identity changes on Scorechain, the traceability of theft and market manipulation, and the privacy implications of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Gregory Guilmin, a highly recognized stock market popularizer, was called as a surprise witness. He addressed the issue of scams and advocated for teaching basic principles to avoid fraudulent schemes across all sectors, as well as the role of human behavior and emphasized the need for financial education.

Solenne Niedercorn-Sedouches addressed the gathering once more, unveiling the fourth accusation centered around decentralization. The Court once again heard from Owen Simonin, aka Hasheur, as well as Laurent Marochini, Innovation Manager at Société Générale Securities Services, summoned to provide their testimony on the matter. Owen Simonin testified in favor of regulated cryptocurrency, highlighting the importance of balanced regulation to foster innovation and addressing the challenges of decentralization and the popularity of DeFi.

Judge Georges Bock announced the fifth charge brought against cryptocurrencies, focusing on the impact of technological innovation. Witness Xavier Buck, President of the Namespace Group / EuroDNS took the stand and discussed the value of blockchain in proving digital ownership and traceability, potential developments beyond asset traceability, and the current stage of the technology. He also informed the Court of its concerns about its integration with the metaverse and artificial intelligence. Laurent Marochini, Head of Innovation at Société Générale Securities Services made a return appearance to provide further testimony. He notably shed light on the impact of cryptocurrencies on blockchain experimentation, the need for problem-solving over focusing solely on the technology, the influence of blockchain on persuasion within financial institutions, and the importance of collaboration and regulation for mass adoption.

In a significant revelation, Robert Scharfe addressed the courtroom with the final and sixth charge directed at cryptocurrencies, delving into their environmental impact. Xavier Buck, President of the Namespace Group / EuroDNS, and Romain Swertvaeger, Audit Associate Partner at EY Luxembourg returned to provide their expert testimonies on the matter. They offered fresh perspectives and invaluable insights into the environmental consequences associated with cryptocurrencies. Adding an element of surprise, a previously undisclosed party emerged. Founder and partner of Homsy Legal Biba Homsy, expert in the field, discussed the coexistence of traditional finance and cryptocurrencies, the potential for professionalization and collaboration between these two worlds, and the need to find a balance between innovation and regulation. She also talked about the importance of addressing governance issues in the crypto industry to gain public trust.

After the presentation of evidence and witness testimonies, both sides, led by General Prosecutor Thierry Labro and attorney Emilie Allaert, had the opportunity to make their closing statements. They summarized their respective cases and sought to persuade the jury.

The Verdict: Have cryptocurrencies been found guilty or not?

During a welcome coffee break, the jury withdrew to engage in in-depth discussions and deliberations on the case. Following their deliberations, the six jurors returned to the courtroom, and one by one announced their respective verdicts. Finally, the judge rendered the official judgment, concluding the proceedings. The trial verdict is as follows: Cryptos were found guilty on financial inclusion and not guilty on transaction speed and low costs. The accused was found guilty on data privacy protection and not guilty on decentralization. Lastly, the defendant was acquitted of the charges related to technological innovation thanks to its data creation capabilities, and found guilty on environmental impact.

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