Anne Rose featured in 'Women in Blockchain' podcast

Posted on 29 April 2019

Anne Rose featured in 'Women in Blockchain' podcast

Women in Blockchain

The Future Is Now
And Welcome to the SVK Crypto Podcast
15 Minutes of Crypto Fame

 

Charles Stoory
My name is Charles Storey, it’s Thursday which means one thing and one thing only – passing it over to my co-host Jess Houlgrave who will be spear heading today’s Women in Blockchain show. She has a very special guest on the show, she has Anne Rose who is part of the core team over at Mishcon de Reya. Mishcon de Reya for those who don’t know is a global law firm, independent law firm should I mention with an international footprint with offices in London and New York. It is really interesting because we are seeing more and more law firms focussing in on the Blockchain space and Mishcon de Reya is no exception to that. We are going to be learning more about their views and Anne’s views on the Blockchain space and how she came in to the space as a whole and what her views and thoughts are. So that in mind let’s pass it over and let’s get down to business.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Hi everyone, I am Jess Houlgrave and I am really excited to be guest hosting on the SVK Crypto 15 minutes of Crypto Fame podcast. I am the Co-founder of shEOS, an EOS block producer with a mission to bring more women and diversity into Blockchain and so on Thursdays for the next few weeks I’ll be bringing stories from interesting women working in the Blockchain space to tell you about their work and draw some attention to the things that they are doing in crypto. You can follow me on Twitter @Jessieblock and send me suggestions of women that you would like to hear from. This week I am lucky enough to be joined by Anne Rose, Co-Lead of the Blockchain Group at Mishcon de Reya. Anne and I met at a recent mid-town business club event about art and Blockchain and got chatting about all sorts of things so I am really excited to have her here on the programme today.

 

Anne Rose
Thank you so much Jess, I am really honoured to be on here.

 

Jess Houlgrave
So let’s kick off as normal, I’d love to hear a little bit about your background, how you got into Blockchain and you know, yeah, how did you get here?

 

Anne Rose 
Yeah sure I mean I suppose as a child I always wanted to know how everything worked and why and my parents really encouraged this and I used to do a project like every summer and one year like my mum helped me make my own radio and it was probably like when I was around 11 I got really interested in how the internet worked and why and my dad too me like to the library and I got out some books on how the internet worked and then we went to Waterstones and there was a book there on HTML for dummies and then I kind of developed this massive love of programming languages and then it kind of just went from there and when I was at University that’s probably the first time I heard about Blockchain and it wasn’t until a few years ago I started to disassociate the technology from the crypto currencies that I really got into Blockchain technology and its potential to shape the future and I suppose in the past few months or so I have been really interested in real world use cases and exploring the myriad of legal issues that kind of come up from IP or data perspective. So last year I spent quite a few months researching data protection challenges for Blockchain technology and I am very excited I’ve kind of got an academic article coming out in the Interactive Entertainment Law Review at the end of May on that and most recently I have been made head of the Legal and Regulatory Tech London Advocates Blockchain Group and I feel so privileged to be leading this group. I kind of really hope that it will get lawyers sharing their experiences, their coming across and trying to develop consistent standards across the board so we can really shape the future of this technology.

 

Jess Houlgrave 
That’s awesome.  So tell me more about that group, what’s your, apart from that being your mission, you know, who’s involved and who else might want to get involved?

 

Anne Rose
So it is really exciting, it is mainly going to be legal practitioners. It is supported by the Law Society and the whole point of it is to be able to come up with consistent definitions that can be used across the board when legal practitioners are dealing with Blockchain technology, so if they’ve got Blockchain as a service and kind of thinking about standard definitions that might be used to avoid any confusion. I also want to be able to invite speakers to come along to meet industry to give people insight into real life use cases as to what they are doing with this technology and I just really hope it will be just a collaborative atmosphere where everybody can share about what they are working on and the potential challenges they see going forward and to be really great to then feed in our advice and work with the Law Society to really shape the future of this technology.

 

Jess Houlgrave 
That’s awesome. I think it is so interesting to see how this technology is you know, impacting so many businesses not just you know, people who have Blockchain at the core of their business but now all sorts of different industries trying to you know, think about how this technology is, is going to affect them and I think you know, the kind of the legal sector is no different right? That’s an industry of itself. 

 

Anne Rose
Absolutely.

 

Jess Houlgrave
How do you think about the impact of this technology actually on, on that?

 

Anne Rose
I think there are two ways it could really affect the legal practice. I think it’s got the potential to act as a secure database where documents such as evidence could be stored and referenced later on if arguments arise and I think it also creates a way for contracts to be created and transferred digitally reducing the need for legal instruments and this could improve efficiency by significantly reducing the costs of entering into contractual arrangements by enabling people to transact directly with one another through computer interface as well as reducing the cost of monitoring and enforcement.  But overall I think the take up could be quite slow and I think some of the reasons for that is you know, people are having to think about the design of the Blockchain model itself and carefully considering you know, how the model works to ensure compliance with certain regulations and regulatory authorities and also you know, creating a compliant Blockchain model which is secure and makes denial of service tax as effective can be quite expensive and it requires a considerable amount of time and resource and also I think people need to be educated and their attitudes towards technology needs to change a little bit.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yeah I think there are so many kinds of interesting applications. I have come across a couple of companies recently you know, interested in the kind of automation of legal contracts particularly when it comes to micro payments you know, through smart contracts and things like that.  I think that there’s a, there’s a huge amount of core things in the works but as you say it’s still pretty early days from the tech side. You know thinking about these things how would you, you know, would you envisage something like a sort of legal, you know, consortium Blockchain, a little bit like we have in financial services or you know, how do you think something like that might work?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah it is interesting. I think we are still a long way from that and that’s almost visionary and it would for that to work there would have to be a reason for law firms to work together to have that as a database you know. So I think at the moment you think of Occam’s razor and don’t multiply entities beyond necessity and I think in some circumstances you know the existing model how it works right now where law firms are each independent of one another may you know, be more efficient than having a blotchy model where there is a consortium where they all work together. It would be hard to sometimes to think of a use case where it might work.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yeah, I think that obviously the sort of the legal spectrum is so you know, so broad in terms of the things it covers there are probably some things that are very easy to automate and natural progression and then there are others that are so specialist or unique that you know, technology maybe has less of a role to play.

 

Anne Rose
Yes absolutely I agree with that.

 

Jess Houlgrave
And so aside from you know the impact on, of Blockchain on the legal sector what are you excited about?  I guess what sort of trends are you seeing with clients that you work with or think projects that you have come across that you are excited about for 2019?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah I mean there has been so many exciting projects recently and I think we are just at the beginning of what this technology can do in the world and you know some of its key features of you know, transparency, enhanced security, traceability I think is fantastic and we’ve got people exploring it and certainly thinking about it in a whole range of different sectors whether they be in the media industry, in publishing, whether they are in life sciences, real estate, whether they are thinking of it as a tool in handling certain types of data.  I think it is a really exciting space to be in and I think the people are also still very sceptical but that’s not necessarily a bad thing I actually think you know, this is a… we should be challenging each other and questioning it and thinking about it and if this technology is really going to take off I think it is important to have a certain bit of scepticism in that place.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Absolutely.  What are the sort of… are there particular things that you are concerned about or that you think we should really be, as an industry, thinking about to make sure that we don’t kind of you know, mess up this opportunity that we have?

 

Anne Rose
That’s really great that you asked me that. I actually think that it is so important to educate people about this technology and I think right now Blockchain and crypto are fundamentally misunderstood by a lot of people and I also think you know, the press is kind of perpetuating a lot of myths and the misuse of this technology could actually deprive people of the opportunity for efficiency savings by scaring them off. I think that’s one of the biggest problems.  Another one I think is as well as user experience so I think we have still got a long way to go for crypto currencies and Blockchain are accessible to everyone and easy to use, I think even those people who are kind of technically proficient are struggling right now with the way some of this works. I think we need to get to a point where the consumer doesn’t even know that a Blockchain technology is being used but you know they might have an app with a QR code for example which then gives them a whole realm of information particularly maybe about a product that they are buying in store and you know, I don’t blame people for not being able sometimes to process these pretty complicated concepts, I mean you know they have got terrible names as well, you are talking about crypto graphic algorithms and hash functions and nodes and people called minors who verify transactions and I don’t yeah, I think it is going to be quite a complicated area for people to understand, education is really important.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yeah I agree with you there, the learning curve is still quite steep I think for people who first come across these things and interact with Blockchain and you know, we, we ultimately need to kind of lower those barriers for people so that what we are building is actually just super useful and makes people’s lives better or cheaper or something rather than you know, this kind of hurdle that they have to get across even just to start.

 

Anne Rose
Yeah absolutely.

 

Jess Houlgrave
So the other thing I am interested to discuss with you is the sort of, I guess, the relationship between Blockchain development and the law and particularly in the context of regulatory frameworks. I think a lot of people when they think about you know, the Blockchain and I think probably a lot of our listeners are people who work in Blockchain companies or you know, are interested to work in Blockchain companies but obviously there is a sort of a whole regulatory and legal framework that you know is in many ways still evolving because this technology is really new. I am interested in your perspective on that?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah I mean absolutely I mean, and I think these are some of the issues that really need to be considered at the outset you know, if you take data protection for example, we had some guidelines come out from the CNIL which is the French Data Protection Authority last year and they are very much looking at to ensure compliance with Data Protection Legislation making sure people are kind of doing a data mapping process at the beginning to assist to identify whether the personal data is going to be stored on the Blockchain, off the chain or inside chain and you know, you must have thought about this as well when you were founding Codex you know, and you created this non-fungable token, this ERC721 token and that can represent the item and store metadata on that item but none of the data is actually stored on the Blockchain itself, it’s stored off the chain.  There is a link so any provenance information that is attached can be uploaded and linked to that token that represents the item and I think there seems to be a confusion as well at the moment whether hashes are personal data, you know a hash itself is form of pseudonymisation which means that you know, the identity of that individual can no longer be attributed to the individual without the use of additional information but it would still be classified as personal data under Data Protection Legislation.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Interesting.

 

Anne Rose
Yeah so it is just kind of educating people as to how this works and thinking about their frameworks.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yeah I think there’s a lot to think about and so if you, if you have you know, if anybody is listening who is thinking of starting a company or is working for any new company in the Blockchain space, what are the ways that, you know, aside from kind of going and finding a lawyer to kind of work with them, what are ways that people can educate themselves about the frameworks that they are operating in?

 

Anne Rose
That’s a really interesting question.  I think it’s talking with other people as well, getting some advice there but I think at the very outset, I mean if you can obviously go to a lawyer that’s best but just thinking about how you are building… if you are building a new platform and you are not relying on an existing platform just thinking about some of the implications that may be involved, whether it’s from a data protection perspective, thinking about consumer protection, if you are using crypto currencies, thinking about any regularity issues, thinking about tax, thinking about you know how you would manage disputes and what sort of law you might want to govern your platform and whether you want to rely on the Courts or Arbitration and I think as well, one key thing which a lot of people I find don’t seem to think about is that open source software is ubiquitous in Blockchain technology and open source software is a type of computer software that is distributed with a source code available for modification and you know certainly the case and public Blockchain platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum but it is even the case with you know, the leading commercial commissioned Blockchain platforms like Hyperledger and Corda and depending which platform you use you may have to make any modifications you’ve made to your software and any derivative works you’ve created available to everyone and I think that’s kind of very important for companies who wish to use these solutions that are reliant on these software’s from these leading platforms to really consider the impact to the licenses that govern this software and the extent it wishes to encumber its intellectual property portfolio with open source obligations.

 

Jess Houlgrave
That is so interesting. I think I was reading a cool article yesterday about the kind of licensing that people are using and I think it’s definitely something that people don’t necessarily think through at the outset and then can sometimes sort of stumble later on and come across some issues that they maybe hadn’t thought about in advance.

 

Anne Rose
Yes absolute.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Awesome well that’s been, that’s been so interesting to think about a lot of things that perhaps you know don’t naturally become the first thing that you think about when you are starting a business but I think, especially things like tax and all these other things you know, it’s crucial to, to bear in mind everything that needs to be dealt with when you are entering or starting a venture whether that’s in this sort of Blockchain space or not but I think particularly in this space it can be, it can be really complex.  You know one of the reasons we do this podcast is obviously to kind of draw attention to great women who are working in this space and so I always ask my interviewees if they have advice for other people who are maybe looking to get into Blockchain or just starting out there, their kind of career in Blockchain. What would you say to anyone?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah, I think one of the first things is educate yourself, read up as much as you can on this area, I mean you had some speakers on the other week, Ria and Beatrice from Circle and they are doing some fantastic research in this area, it is so interesting and the more you read up on it, the more as well you are able to decipher and to distinguish between what’s great information that’s out there and what’s not such great information and I also think meeting people in this space you know, we met at an event, you know, an Art in Blockchain and I actually feel like from my experience many people in the space are very welcoming.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yes. Overwhelmingly my experience too.

 

Anne Rose
Yeah and so I think for women especially well if their lawyers, there is a fantastic book out there called ‘Blockchain and the Law: The Wall of Code' by Primavera de Filippi and it’s an absolutely fantastic book as well and it's kinda of combine both your passions as well, in technology and the law too.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Well Primavera is an artist as well, I didn’t know if you knew that?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah, yeah.

 

Jess Houlgrave
She is the creator of this amazing piece called Plantoid which is this sort of sculpture that performs and dances when you donate Bitcoin to it.

 

Anne Rose
Yeah, it’s incredible.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Yeah she is, she is an extremely impressive lady so that’s a great recommendation. So I always finish my interviews with a quick fire round of questions. The first one is if you are a late night person or an early morning person?  I am guessing both if you are a lawyer.

 

Anne Rose
I would probably say neither. I absolutely love my sleep.

[Laughter]

 

Jess Houlgrave
And if you were an animal what would you be?

 

Anne Rose
Ooo… I think it would have to be either a butterfly or a caterpillar depending on my state of metamorphosis. I think like learning and developing all the time so yeah depending on where I’ve got to, one or the other.

 

Jess Houlgrave
That’s great.  And do you have a sort of historical inspirational figure or somebody that you kind of really look up to?

 

Anne Rose
Ooo…err…I would probably say my mum.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Really? A strong women.

 

Anne Rose
Yeah absolutely.

 

Jess Houlgrave
And if you weren’t doing your current job as a lawyer in the Blockchain space, what would you do?

 

Anne Rose
Ooo, that’s a really tricky question. I have always been interested in sports and nutrition so may end up doing something in that area but I absolutely love what I do and I absolutely love technology and the law so it’s great to be able to combine both of those but I also have a very great interest in sports and nutrition as well.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Cool.  And who is your favourite person to follow on Crypto Twitter?

 

Anne Rose
Ooo… err I would probably say Sally Eaves, I really enjoy following. She is kind of like an advisor, mentor for lots of different Blockchain start-ups and partnerships. Err… I also really 
enjoy following Laura Shin, crypto Blockchain journalists and I think Nahair Neruda as well I really enjoy following, she was previously a Google engineer and she has now relaunched a news aggregator called DIC, she is also great to follow.  Chris Larson as well from Ripple and then I suppose Jacqueline De Rojas, she is a very inspiring woman. She is not necessarily in crypto itself but she is like President of Tech UK.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Awesome. That’s a great list of additions for people looking to switch it up on their Twitter feed. If people want to like you, follow you or find out more about you or contact you, how can they do that?

 

Anne Rose
Yeah absolutely, on my Twitter its @Anne_Emma_Rose or they can look me up on LinkedIn as well.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Excellent so anybody out there who needs an expert Blockchain lawyer I hope they’ll be coming your way shortly.

 

Anne Rose
Fantastic. I would be delighted to help.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Anne thank you so much for your time today.  It’s been so great…

 

Anne Rose
Thanks for having me.

 

Jess Houlgrave
…and look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Anne Rose
No absolutely, I can’t wait, thank you so much for having me Jess.

 

Jess Houlgrave
Thanks.

 

Anne Rose
Thank you.

 

Charles Stoory
Alright what an episode, what a show.  Thank you so much for tuning in and listening. If you haven’t already hit us up on Twitter @SVK_crypto. Feel free to join our telegram SVK crowd, type that in and you’ll find us and if you have any questions or queries feel free to email myself, cstoory@svkcrypto.com.  If you want to contact Anne feel free, her company Twitter page will be in the description below. With that in mind, that’s a wrap, I’ve got to bounce thank you so much for your time and attention.

Anne Rose, the Co-Lead of the Blockchain Group and Associate at Mishcon de Reya, appears on the latest 'Women in Blockchain' podcast, a weekly show featuring the brightest women in blockchain.

 

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