Blockchain. Just saying it sounds cool. Kind of like a “cyber gang” or “rock band.” This is no hype: The moniker for this transformative technology returns over 75 million hits on a single Google search. More than that, blockchain is “rocking out” in the world of big business. Venture capital has raised over $4.5 billion to support blockchain; that is in addition to a cryptocurrency market capitalization that exceeds $150 billion.
As a technology, blockchain is changing the way business and finance are handled, identity is managed, and transactions are validated and tracked. Blockchain offers security, immutability, and transparency by design. It holds promise beyond payments or financial transactions, including potentially significant effects on the legal industry over the next few years.
According to Megan Miller, senior account manager, Edge Legal Marketing, “two schools of thought have emerged on blockchain and its potential impact in the legal industry. One view is that blockchain will automate decisions, processes, and contracts, removing the need for an attorney and reducing demand for legal services. The alternate, more optimistic view embraces blockchain as a source of new opportunities for growth in legal services. For those who build a familiarity with blockchain, opportunities are surfacing.” David Fisher, founder and chief executive officer of Integra Leger, says lawyers “need to first understand how blockchain functions before it can be effectively used in the legal industry.” So, what is blockchain?
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