Gericó Associates, a Madrid-based marketing and business development consultancy for law firms that operate in Europe and Latin America, plans to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment starting in January.
The shift comes at the request of firms, especially in Latin America, where some governments limit the amount of local currency that may be exchanged for global currencies such as the U.S. dollar and the euro.
Managing partner Marc Gericó said the consultancy will accept what it views as the two most solid cryptocurrencies on the market: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Gericó believes that taking cryptocurrency as payment will reduce costs and generate efficiencies in verification processes.
“In addition, it responds to challenges such as inflation, the devaluation of fiat currency, data protection and the difficulties presented by certain international payment transactions,” Gericó said in a statement to Law.com International.
María Sol Rubio, the consultancy’s Chilean partner, emphasized that the shift responds to client demand.
“We began to evaluate this option at the beginning of the year, when we were presented with a case of impossibility of collection with a large Argentinean firm,” Rubio explained. “Some local regulations make it very difficult to pay suppliers abroad in foreign currency.”
Soon after, a London-based client proposed paying for services in Ethereum.
Argentina imposed tough capital controls in 2019 that have been hardened this year in a bid to stem an outflow of dollars from the crisis-wracked country. Authorities have turned to currency controls in an effort to manage the exchange rate and stockpile foreign-exchange reserves for the heavily indebted sovereign.
Gericó, which has advised legal clients on global strategy and business units for more than a decade, has offices in Spain, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
The firm noted that many Latin Americans trust Bitcoin more than their local currencies because it operates as part of a decentralized system. Transacting in Bitcoin, the firm said, leaves a trace on the blockchain in a way that is impossible to manipulate and incorruptible.
The consultancy said it’s also working with experts in artificial intelligence to develop tools to process large amounts of information, structure processes and increase efficiency in the day-to-day practice of law.