Blockchain technology has its roots in bitcoin and digital currency, but the ability to distribute digital information while ensuring that it is not copied has law firms jumping on board. According to Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
One of the fears that most attorneys have when it comes to digital technology involves privacy. Confidentiality is a pillar for most law firms. We owe a duty of confidentiality to our clients, we often draft confidential agreements, and we require a high-level of privacy when it comes to our information. The internet lacks in the area of privacy. Headlines are plagued with data breaches and the dissemination of private information. Blockchain validates a user’s information, keeping a permanent public record of all transactions. Blockchain keeps an individual’s information secure virtually eliminating the risk for private information to be leaked. All activity is stored in a digital ledger that is transparent and incorruptible. It is part of what has helped digital currency such as bitcoin become valued at nearly $9 billion in the United States alone.
Law Firm Collaborations
Blockchain is ideal for any legal documents. The ability to see what has happened to a record and validate a user’s information means that documents are secure. This enables attorneys to share “smart documents” and “smart contracts” and applies to nearly every type of practice. Whether you are drafting business contracts or wills, blockchain can provide a transparent and incorruptible ledger of what has happened.
Law Firms have begun partnering with software firms to share information with the legal community. Software firm R3 launched the Legal Centre of Excellence (LCoE) which aims to help attorneys understand distributed ledger technology. Ten law firms have already joined the initiative. The idea behind the collaboration is to provide “a platform for the global legal community to get the latest updates and share the best practices regarding blockchain technology and R3’s blockchain platform Corda.”
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