UK law firm becomes first to accept crypto as payment

British law firm Gunnercooke has announced that it now accepts cryptocurrency as payment for legal and professional services.

“It is essential that we accept payments in this way for our large customer base, which spans the entire blockchain and crypto-asset ecosystem,” said James Burnie, Financial Services and FinTech Partner, in a prepared statement. “Accepting payment in crypto-assets demonstrates our commitment and understanding of this important and growing community.”

“Over the next decade, I expect to see a gradual transition to cryptocurrency becoming more accepted as a means of payment in general.”

The law firm partners with crypto-asset exchange Coinpass to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrency.

Jeff Hancock, CEO of Coinpass, said the Coinpass team is “proud to be Gunnercooke’s crypto exchange partner”, and added that they are “delighted to be associated with an organization that has ambition to advance blockchain and crypto in the UK”.

Gunnercooke, which has 10 offices across the UK and Germany, has a customer base of around 100 cryptocurrency developers, platforms and exchanges. One such example is Attestant, a crypto-staking firm that the law firm advised on legal and regulatory issues involved in crypto-staking.

Crypto payments

The company believes it is the first UK company to take this step. Naseer Patel, chief financial officer of Gunnercooke, said the company was “proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the UK”.

But while the list may be small, other law firms in the United States have already started accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.

According to The American lawyerPerkins Coie, Steptoe & Johnson and Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan have accepted bitcoin since 2013, 2016 and 2019 respectively.

Based on Visa’s use of crypto credit cards, it appears that the wider adoption of cryptocurrency as a form of payment is also on the rise.

In an earnings call last month, Visa said customers earned $2.5 billion in payments using crypto-linked cards during the first fiscal quarter of 2022 (Visa defines the quarter ending December 31 as the first quarter of the new year).

“To us, this indicates that consumers are seeing the value of having a Visa card linked to an account on a crypto platform,” Visa chief financial officer Vasant Prahbu said in an interview with CNBC.

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