Schmidt, Niklas JRM
Crypto assets - what trustees and family offices need to know
In "Crypto assets - what trustees and family offices need to know", Niklas JRM Schmidt, of the Austrian law firm, Wolf Theiss, contributes an enlightening summary of the many facets of crypto-currency issues of which trustees should be aware. He sets the stage succinctly: "There are younger beneficiaries who want investments to be made into crypto assets, an asset class which did not exist a decade ago, which has a low correlation with traditional assets, which is highly volatile and about which the beneficiaries are very enthusiastic. There are older trustees and board members who are administering a decades old structure, who have no idea what crypto is all about and who are therefore quite fearful of entering this brave new world." As he notes, education is sorely needed. The purpose of his article is to give a very high-level introduction to crypto assets and how to hold them. On a personal note, I found this to be the clearest and most interesting explanation of crypto assets that I have ever seen. He clearly knows all the intricate details - he even founded a Crypto Academy, an educational initiative where he has trained more than 1000 lawyers - but is very good about distilling the points that trustees and family offices need to know. As he concludes: "Crypto assets are an exciting new asset class that trustees and family offices need to know about ... including the two most important crypto assets, and how these should be custodied and what has to be taken into consideration when choosing a custodian.