By: Victoria Osuagwu
Confucius said: “When the wise person points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger.” Blockchain is now.
According to Mr. Ihenyen;
“Blockchain will help law become smarter and a digital god—invincible and invisible; omnipresent and omniscient—transparently balancing, controlling, and regulating competing interests in contracts, records, and transactions without the law being too much with us.”
Blockchain technology holds many promises for lawyers. Talk of corporate, criminal, intellectual property, real estate, and beyond. Because blockchain is ongoing, ownership can be known with exactitude. The litigation process could be greatly enhanced in that they would be self-authenticating and stored publicly. This would add to their integrity, completeness as they are captured real-time in total and validated as part of the blockchain process. Blockchain records are proof in themselves- transparency of transactions, intellectual property protection, reduction of paperwork, ensures no tampering of evidence, property record, data integrity, authenticity for contracts, documents and similar data, data privacy, security for contracts, interoperability between large corporate legal departments and law firms. Blockchain can also be used to fortify and augment existing legal technology investments adding important functionality to legacy systems to extend their useful life. In short, blockchain greatly enhances security, privacy, productivity, and interoperability of law. According to the Harvard Business Review,
“Blockchain can validate—and secure—almost anything of value, and to keep it safe.”
Blockchain could also make room for “smart contracts,” where assets would be transferred automatically once certain conditions are met. This could resolve disputes efficiently, saving lawyers and their clients a great deal of work. It helps attain authenticity, integrity, completeness and transparency. Smart contracts helps multi-tasks, like real estate registration, commercial transactions, artist royalties, providing an immutable, theoretically and unhackable data management solution for lawyers, storing records of underlying documents rather than the documents themselves, thereby preventing high-level data breaches.
Real estate lawyers rely on blockchain, to easily verify the chain of custody of their clients’ properties, thereby expediting the legal process. A process which takes weeks to months to conduct in person could be shortened. Lawyers, involved with international clients, criminal law, estate planning, probate, divorce and even bankruptcy should expect to see more requests for payments and assistance with transactions involving cryptocurrencies that run on blockchains and increase in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of the asset mix. Most important, lawyers will need to know how to explain to judges how blockchains work and why they can be relied on.
The blockchain isn’t too big to ignore. It is the future of law. Every law firm should be looking at the resources and moving their operations on to blockchain. Blockchain legal specialists could just be the stars of the next generation.
As you can see, the legal industry has plenty to gain from blockchain integration. Even though the legal industry and blockchain has seemingly been at loggerheads, they have found a fruitful, synergistic partnership which will positively impact both of them.
Welcome to the brave new world of blockchain and law.