Game of Nodes: What if the Blockchain Industry Developed in the “Game of Thrones” Universe?
Legal Nodes Team
Valar Morghulis. Ever wondered what would have happened if the blockchain industry developed in the world of the HBO`s “Game of Thrones”? In a world where Bitcoin, the Night King, fights the centralized systems of the First Men? In a world where financial regulators from around the world “take black” to prevent yet another Long Night of scams?
Get your mind palaces ready (sorry, wrong TV series) and buckle up `cause the “Game of Nodes” is about to unfold right in front of your eyes.
Warning: although this article contains serious spoilers to the events of the “Game of Thrones”, most of the events described below are not intended to precisely mimic the story arc.
From Children of the Forest to the Long Night
Once upon a time, Satoshi Nakamoto, a Child of the Forest created Bitcoin, the Night King to eradicate the obsolete centralized systems of the First Men. Little did he know that by doing so he would ignite the everlasting war between the two.
Unlike fiat currencies, Bitcoin was free of the shackles of governments and central banks. Wielding the power of blocks, he became the silver lining of decentralization, lighting the sparks of life in ETH, EOS, Stellar, NEO, and other White Walkers.
However, just they were still not enough to overthrow the system that has been there for generations. With that, the White Walkers created Whits, an endless army of tokens and coins, who had the potential to flood the financial market like never before.
And should the Night Kind raise his hands, myriads of them would emerge…
With more and more “shitcoins” and scam ICOs appearing and reaching their critical mass, the realm entered the Long Night of the year 2017. To combat it, the financial regulators, parliaments and international organizations formed the Night's Watch and issued numerous regulations and guidance to protect the investors` interests. And thus their watch has begun. They are the shield that guards the realm of men.
House of Who?
Time went by. More and more dove deep into the power of blockchain, embracing its` wondrous capabilities. Not all states were welcoming of newly-emerged tech: some more than others. Those that became hubs for blockchain-powered businesses were now known as the Great Houses. As time passed, some of them have even met the God of Death himself (press “F” to pay respect for Tyrells) by imposing limitations or even bans on crypto.
Two biggest capital markets: the United States of House Lannister and the European Union of House Targaryen were in a constant battle for the Iron Throne of blockchain. The world held their breath to see to whom shall the New Gods of decentralization enthusiasts turn.
And while both Houses placed great importance on the investors` protection, the House Lannister adopted stricter regulations for blockchain-powered companies with wildfiresanctions taken against the offenders.
It wasn`t only that that varied between them. While one united the land in one federate state, the other, Daenerys Targaryen of the European Union, Mother of the AML Drogon and Queen of KYC, united people in diversity.
And if you happened to do business with her subjects, you had better bend the knee before the client verification procedures.
With that unraveling, the sentiments in the United Kingdom of the House Stark were quite uncertain. For now, they were still subject to the Daenerys` policies but no one knew what the future held for the biggest euro-skeptic out there. Does Jon Snow, Chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, know anything with what they are doing with blockchain? Only subsequent crypto-specific regulations (that are scheduled to be released in 2019!) will tell.
Some, like the British Virgin Islands of House Arryn, retained the “wait and see” position on crypto. Although they did not participate in major wars, they did know how to stand for themselves and were not afraid to stick the offenders with “the pointy end”.
Meanwhile, rumors all around the Known World told of the Republic of Malta of House Greyjoy, that has developed one of the most detailed regulations for blockchain businesses, thus claiming to be “Island of Blockchain” and having the potential to be an ultimate innovation hub, living up to their dream of conquering the land.
Somewhere Over the Narrow Sea
Even a million scam projects are no threat, as long as they remain on the other side of the Narrow Sea. As such, life went on in the other parts of the world as well.
Not everything had to be about wars, wasn't it? These were exactly the Swiss Iron Bank of Braavos thoughts when they adopted several FinTech-supporting initiatives, allowing companies to accept public deposits with exemptions from the banking law.
And while many jurisdictions took great care of client verification to ensure precise compliance with the AML legislation, not all had the same mentality. Many blockchain applications and projects in the People's Republic of China found anonymity rather appealing, commencing their training at the House of Black and White.
Outcome of the “Game of Nodes”
Just like you, we are still not really sure who will (or should) sit on the Iron Throne of Blockchain Haven. And while the Game continues, forges burn hot as we speak, with many countries continuing to issue more blockchain-specific regulations to support the industry (the U.S., Finland, Malta, Italy, the PRC, Hong Kong, Bahrain, etc.).
We are no fantasy drama experts but we do know a thing or two about legal support of tech-powered companies. Should you require us to be your guiding light in blockchain regulation in any jurisdiction mentioned above - we would be delighted to help. For the night is dark and full of terrors.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, trading, financial, or other advice.
Film stills, quotes, characters, Houses, and other organizations used in the article are from the “Game of Thrones” HBO series, created by David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss, and from the 'A Song of Ice and Fire', George R. R. Martin's series of novels. Gif images are from the official “Game of Thrones” GIPHY channel.
Depiction of real-life jurisdictions, organizations and blockchain-build solutions as antagonists does not intend to be and should not be construed as negative publicity and/or actions damaging business reputation.
Nik Kliapets, Legal Counsel at Legal Nodes
Nestor Dubnevych, Co-Founder of Legal Nodes
Margarita Sivakova, Co-Founder of Legal Nodes
Vlad Nekrutenko, Privacy Lawyer at Legal Nodes
Nestor Barchuk, Lawyer at Legal Nodes