Founded in 2020, Decentraland’s virtual universe is gradually increasing its appeal to the legal world. This is normal, this virtual country now has nearly a million inhabitants registered to walk around and carry out transactions in cryptocurrency.
You can take up residence there, open a business… and practice law.
This is what the Toronto firm has just done Grinhaus Law, who made his home close to Decentraland University. Its main partner and founder, Aaron Grinhausteaches cryptocurrency and blockchain law at Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto, and specializes in blockchain contract law.
Saying he is part of a new generation of professionals who recognize the importance of virtual universes, Aaron Grinhaus believes that the residents of Decentraland and the billions of Metaverse users around the world “deserve personalized legal and professional services “.
Grinhaus Law clients who reside in Decentraland may visit the firm’s offices, ask questions and seek legal advice.
What justice for the metaverse?
Interest in acquiring land and products within the metaverse is on the rise, “but how to handle legal disputes related to activities in the virtual world is akin to the Wild West and remains a mystery”, explained recently litigation specialist Howard Winkler at Law Times News magazine.
Transactions take place there, (virtual) plots of land change hands, all without a specific legal framework. Decentraland is one of the 10 virtual universes accessible in the metaverse, and each “country” has its own rules, enacted by the community.
These communities partner with celebrities and set up shop there to sell space near them. Someone would have paid $450,000 to be Snoop Dog’s virtual neighbor.
A virtual practice
Grinhaus Law can take on clients from other countries as long as it follows the rules of the Law Society of Ontario to help people understand the real-world legal consequences of actions taken in the world. virtual.
In an interview with Law Times News, Aaron Grinhaus explains that the taxation applicable to transactions is that of the client’s country of residence, and most transactions are made in cryptocurrency. Or hard cash.
Montrealers from Renno & Cie are also present. The firm, whose legal services offering specializes in the virtual world, recently rented space in Decentraland.
It is that there is action in the metaverse. More and more big names are investing plots of Decentraland’s virtual real estate. This is notably the case of Samsung, Adidas, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Sotheby’s even held a first virtual auction there, while a fashion week featuring Dolce & Gabbama, Perry Ellis and other Tommy Hillfigers was held there last March.
In addition, lawyers are beginning to take such an interest in the metaverse that one of the heavyweights of this universe, Metaverse Productions, has just opened a legal district there, LawCity.com.
LawCity.Com thus announced at the beginning of April the construction of its first virtual office towers in Decentraland. Bringing together law firms and jurists from several backgrounds, LawCity.Com aims to enable residents to find help and legal solutions relating to the metaverse, or in the virtual universe directly.
LawCity.com defines itself as “a community of legal industry pioneers who want to create a starting point for every avatar’s legal journey through the metaverse.” Avatars are the representations of people who travel through the metaverse.
If all this does not convince you yet, know that cases involving the metaverse are beginning to be heard by the courts. Thus, the Superior Court recently decided a contractual dispute involving two ex-partners who disputed the ownership of a company launched exclusively in Decentraland.
One of the two partners, excluded from the project, was seeking to obtain a provisional injunction under article 511 of the Code of Civil Procedures, which the judge Silvana Conte rejected.