Features

Lee Schneider – Block.one

A techy GC influences blockchain policy

Many people assume their personal documents and data are safe online, especially if they’re protected by a hospital or bank.

Anyone can be hacked, though, and most documents can be duplicated and forged or sold online. Anything from medical records, marriage licenses and diplomas to bank accounts and frequent flyer miles can be copied, ruining their value and opening people up to fraud.

Lee Schneider | Block.one

Lee Schneider | General Counsel | Block.one

This is why Lee Schneider is such a proponent of blockchain software. As the general counsel of Block.one, he advocates for companies and institutions to embrace the technology, which protects unique documents from being copied. His biggest challenge is getting people to trust it, as it’s still so new.

“The first big misconception is people think that it’s magical in some way, but it’s not,” he explains. “It uses a bunch of technology that’s already in existence, but combined in a new way.”

Educating and influencing

Located in Hong Kong and Virginia, Block.one is a blockchain software company that allows companies and developers “to create secure, transparent and efficient digital infrastructures,” according to Schneider.

Blockchain, which operates using cryptography, the internet and incentivization, decentralizes data so it’s not all stored in one location, making it harder to hack and change. Instead, it stores data in virtual blocks, which are linked together like a chain, and organizes and tracks the data more effectively.

Schneider’s job is to educate regulators and lawmakers on what blockchain is and how it’s used so they can develop policy around it.

“It’s important because it’s a young technology and there’s a lot of confusion,” he explains. “Policymakers and regulators get a lot of misinformation, so the role of education is key.”

In addition to creating resources and presentations, Schneider also speaks on panels and writes articles about blockchain for trade publications. He wants to influence and educate leaders of other industries while also helping shape policy.

He also wants people to understand blockchain’s capabilities beyond bitcoin, which it’s most often associated with.

“I want to see it more broadly used because I think there are a lot of uses for it,” he says. “It’s all about record-keeping and protects against forgery and fraud in a variety of industries.”

A common misconception Schneider has heard among regulators is that blockchain needs to be regulated as its own industry. He’s been helping them understand how blockchain should instead be integrated into existing categories, such as health care, education and banking, since those already have requirements around data privacy and documentation.

Protecting assets

Banking has been a focus for Block.one and the blockchain industry, with Schneider showing financial institutions that bitcoin isn’t the only currency blockchain can protect. In fact, he says blockchain can be used to digitize routine actions like transfers, lending and custody, making them more secure and efficient.

“It’s definitely been a challenge getting financial institutions on board with blockchain because they’re wary, which is good because they’re protecting people’s money,” he says.

Schneider is also focused on central bank digital currencies, which would allow a country to put government currency in blockchain. As with decentralized finance, this would allow money to move more efficiently and securely. He says he understands what a big undertaking this is, but that regulators are interested in exploring it.

In addition to the financial industry, Schneider says a lot of video game development companies use blockchain to protect the digital worlds and assets they’re creating.

“That’s what I really like about blockchain—it allows people to be freer online because these assets are native to the internet,” he says.

Owning your voice

The company has also created its own social media platform, called Voice, that encourages people to post high-quality, original content. While much of social media is copied or shared from other places, Voice’s users create and own everything they post, from videos and photos to long-form text.

Voice weeds out bots and fake accounts, using blockchain and other technologies, such as digital identity, to authenticate real users while also protecting their content. Blockchain is also used to track how much engagement a post gets—the more something is “liked” and commented on, the more visible it becomes to other users. Schneider says this incentivizes users to post their best quality content, compared to other social media platforms that are more casual.

The platform launched a year ago and Schneider hopes it will introduce more people to blockchain and its capabilities. As someone who loves technology, he’s excited to see the impact blockchain will have. Most of his career has been spent in the financial technology world—he even co-hosts a podcast on the subject.

Working at Block.one, where he started in 2018, a year after its founding, has been fulfilling in that he gets to influence the technology industry as well as policy.

“I get to work with a lot of technology people, which is fun, plus they teach me how stuff works,” Schneider says. “I’ve always enjoyed new technology and understanding it from a legal standpoint.”

Published on: April 22, 2021

regions:

categories: ,

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.

Testimonials

The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
– Wade Poulson, General Counsel, Bob Baker Enterprises Inc.
As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
– Tim Hutzul, General Counsel, ShawCor Ltd.
It was a great honor to be featured in Vanguard Law. Working with every member of the team, from the initial interview with Erin Clark, through production with Victor Martins, writing the article with Taryn Plumb and creating the final content with Dave Gushee, was a true pleasure. Everyone was very professional, enthusiastic and supportive, and their creative approach and positive attitude clearly came through in the final product.
– Kevin C. Rakowski, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Compliance with Radian Group Inc.
I was honored to be the subject of an article. I enjoy reading Vanguard articles and seeing how other attorneys got to their positions and see their jobs. It's also interesting to see how different law firms partner with the subjects of the articles.
– Henry Marquard, in-house counsel, Stanley Consultants Inc.

LATEST EDITION

Fall II 2021

READ NOW

GET VANGUARD IN YOUR INBOX.

  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.