Student Recap on Season 5 Episode 7 with Charles Kerrigan – Introduction to Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin

Season 5 Episode 7 featured Charles Kerrigan, a partner at CMS specializing in digital assets, fintech, and cryptocurrency.

One of my main takeaways from this episode is as a student soon entering the legal field, the world of cryptocurrencies will become a potential career path that is on the rise. This is an interesting field to get into with so much still being discovered. And that is exactly what Charles discussed, his job is exploring how these cryptocurrencies are to be identified and dealt with within the law. A problem that was never an issue in the recent years past.


I would consider myself to have a very beginner’s level understanding of bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. Charles spoke about how you can understand terms and definitions but at some point, your mind stops fighting you and you start to understand on a more phycological level. This is when the terms really start to make sense. All students and I understand this. We study, we repeat terms and definitions, but you don’t quite get it until you understand the whole picture. Just like the first reading of a case never makes you an expert, the more you study, the more you understand. When it comes to crypto, my mind is still fighting me on really understanding what it is. Listen at about 7 minutes and 19 seconds of the interview to hear this part and its relation to understanding crypto.


Here is what I understood Charles to be saying about Blockchain. It was created to fix a problem. We sometimes think of defining crypto in the traditional terminology we know, but this is not like the currencies we are familiar with. Bitcoin is described by blockchain technologies. Meaning bitcoin is an example of blockchain technologies. Bitcoin with blockchain solved problems concerning crypto. Originally, bitcoin was trying to figure out how to create a value transfer system where you are not in a trusted environment. Asking the question, can you transfer funds without a bank?  Listen at around 8 minutes and 45 seconds for more.

At around 11 minutes and 40 seconds, Charles explains that in very simple terms, blockchain is a database that cannot be rewritten, because no one controls it. And that is why the law is now trying to figure out how to adapt it into our legal system.


This is an episode worth listening to if you are a beginner like me, and if you already have a good understanding, topics like NFT’s and the Meta verse may still be of interest to you. Listen around 36 minutes 18 seconds to hear about a perspective on the importance of crypto currency you maybe have not yet considered. At around 39 minutes and 40 seconds, Rob starts asking about law firms in the Meta verse. The Meta verse (as I understand it to be) is an immersive digital world. Usually, we go from one website to another, but in the Meta verse you would move more effortlessly to these sites, like one room to another. It brings up issues relating to legal jurisdictions, and how would the Meta verse operate in subjection to different rules as it is a transnational project.


One thing I found extremely interesting was when Charles started talking about self-sovereign identity. This is around 41 minutes of the interview. Right away my mind went to state sovereignty, and all those international law classes. I wrote a paper once on the influence of the sovereign state on our self-identity, and it was probably the only thing I found interesting in international law. The Meta verse looks how when we identify ourselves, we are usually giving away more information then needed when we give some form of government document. Self-sovereign identity allows us to hold our identity, giving away only what is needed or relevant to the transaction taking place.


This student recap only touches the surface of what Charles and Rob discussed in the podcast.

We would love to hear what you thought about the episode in the comments below!


Written by Anna Elizabeth Polito

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