Honors and Awards

Michelle Ann Gitlitz Named 2018 Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer by National Law Journal and New York Law Journal

Michelle Ann GitlitzBlank Rome Partner Michelle Ann Gitlitz, who serves as co-chair of the Firm’s Blockchain Technology & Digital Currencies group and chair of the General Litigation practice group, was named a 2018 Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and New York Law Journal.

The honorees for this inaugural category were notably selected for making great strides in the increasingly intertwined world of finance and technology, and “moving the needle” in facilitating these new technologies and digital currencies.

To view all of the 2018 Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazers, please click here.


PIONEER SPIRIT: When Michelle Gitlitz was invited to a friend’s birthday party a year and a half ago, she didn’t think she would know many people. But she knew her friend was well-networked and decided to attend. “It was mostly young hedge fund people and everyone was talking about cryptocurrency, but I had no idea what that was all about.” Curious to learn more, she later went home to research blockchain technology. “I was trained as a securities lawyer, and it all resonated with me. I just wanted in, and I started to learn everything I could.”

TRAILS BLAZED: Gitlitz advised Prager Metis Technology on capital raising, technology development and regulatory issues related to blockchain, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence transactions. Unlike many lawyers in the space, she decided not to start with ICOs, choosing instead to advise companies offering innovative solutions based on the technology. “Emerging companies need great legal services especially at the beginning with initial operating agreements, as this will set the precedent for how they operate forever. The goal was to help them without having them go bankrupt on legal fees before they even get started.” Gitlitz also advised in creating a cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused investment fund for BKCM and assisted founder and CEO Brian Kelly in connection with the REX BKCM exchange-traded fund which seeks to identify companies utilizing blockchain technologies to generate present or future revenue from their core business.

FUTURE EXPLORATIONS: Like the ubiquitous use of email today, Gitlitz believes there will soon be a time when people won’t be able to remember when their company didn’t have blockchain applications. She also predicts the growth of a robust economy fueled by the tokenization of assets such as real estate and art. “Not all of these tokens will be commodities or securities. Some of them will be consumer goods. It will be a whole new way of holding and trading assets.” ♦