Russell Stanley Geronimo is a corporate lawyer with background in tech and finance, based in the Philippines. He is the head of legal of Oz and a legal engineer of the Oz token.
Can you explain what you do?
I head the legal strategy of the Oz global community. It’s hard to explain what we do, but here goes.
Imagine a coin that grants you a new citizenship; a coin that turns you into a permanent resident of another country; a coin that protects your assets; a coin that lowers your taxes; a coin that makes your wealth private; or a coin that gives you access to properties in Greece, Spain, islands in the Caribbean, the Philippines, and other beautiful places. We make that kind of coin.
There’s an underlying international legal backend that makes this possible. It’s complex, novel, and elegant. A global team of lawyers is actively involved in engineering this product.
Describe your practice area.
I’m a corporate lawyer with a tech and finance focus. I divide my practice into two laundry baskets.
On the one hand, there’s the mainstream deal-making, corporate structuring, transaction advisory, M&A, joint ventures, foreign investments, financing, tax optimization, global asset protection, offshore trusts, and an entire gamut of wealth preservation techniques.
On the other hand, there’s the cutting-edge and pioneering projects that operate within ambiguous regulations and legal gray areas, including but not limited to blockchain, DeFi, smart contracts, metaverse, AI and machine learning. Part of my work involves the tokenization of any asset imaginable in the planet, setting up decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), and operation of a digital asset exchange.
What prepared you for this role?
I served in all branches of government and have exposure in all private practice settings (big law, mid-size, solo, in-house, external).
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What is the impact of AI and DeFi?
The marriage of AI and DeFi has begun to ease out CFAs and finance professionals, with the rise of arbitrage bots, algorithmic trading, robo-advisors, and automated market-making protocols.
In the past, to execute arbitrage transactions, one has to fly to different countries and open accounts in different exchanges, say in London, New York, and Tokyo. Now you can deploy an arbitrage bot on multiple digital asset exchanges, allowing tokens to be transferred automatically from one wallet to another in a looping script.
Describe the post-FTX era and the future of web3. What does it look like?
Web3 literally means “third generation of the world wide web”, and if we equate web3 with blockchain and distributed ledger technology, we are in effect saying that this third generation of the internet will be defined by “decentralization”.
Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell.
As chief legal officer and general counsel of Oz, I assist in setting up an ecosystem of exchanges, market-makers, liquidity providers, token issuers, and node operators in a post-FTX scenario. From this vantage point, I can definitely say that the future of this industry will revolve around the themes of more governance, more regulations, more audits, more licensing regimes, and more oversight.
That doesn’t seem like the anarchist utopia originally intended by the vision of a decentralized web. Web3 will adhere more to the governance reforms akin to the post-Enron era. And what does that mean? It means more gatekeeping, which is quite the opposite of decentralization.
To be honest, that’s probably a good thing.