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CryptoVA Wants Richmond to Help Invent the Next Internet


Move over, Al Gore. A new association called Crypto VA wants Richmond to help invent the next internet. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies operate according to a promising technology called block chain, members say. It allows transaction records to sit on top of the current internet, free from outside interference.

That's because the record of events gets distributed to all participants in a given network, not a central party. If tampering occurred, everyone would see it. Some hope, for example, that block chain could expose censorship on social media.

"The uses [of block chain] are limited only by the human imagination, and that's what makes it so exciting," says Carol Van Cleef, an anti-money laundering specialist who's worked on cases that anticipated bitcoin mania.

On March 29, Van Cleef was joined by Jay Spruill, her colleague at LeClairRyan, to hold a panel of local crypto-currency and block chain experts. Spruill says he spearheaded the association at LeClairRyan because he doesn't want Virginia to be left behind economically, technologically or legally.

"There are a lot of questions, as there always are when a new technology emerges that disrupts an existing framework," says Spruill, a financial services regulatory lawyer. "We will share our knowledge and experiences with the goal of educating the public and advocating on behalf of the industry before the Virginia General Assembly and other public bodies."

Read the full article in Style Weekly here.