The blockchain revolution is in full swing. While many typically hear the word and think of it as the platform that drives Bitcoin, blockchain’s potential is vast and is relevant to many industries. Blockchain can even be leveraged in the legal industry to enable new scenarios including an alternative to electronic signatures, more efficient ways of transferring assets and new approaches to contracts.
Unlike blockchains that power cryptocurrencies, business blockchains are organized and managed by consortiums where participants are specified and known. Blockchain protocols are the glue that connects this trust network and grants authority to business partners to act using a common digital understanding.
The Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), comprised of over 140 companies, law firms software companies and universities across the world, have joined together to develop standards to govern the use of blockchain technology in the business of law.
Brad Clements, Co-Founder and Chief Architect at NetDocuments, and Peter Buck, NetDocuments’ VP of Product Strategy, recently joined members of the Consortium and Utah’s community of blockchain enthusiasts for a briefing on the practical applications of blockchain and how it is becoming a natural catalyst to transform the business of law.
Blockchain is a powerful tool for business networks in the internet era. It’s incredibly useful to business because the efficacy of the document or asset is verified cryptographically. In other words, it’s a way to use digital secrets to improve business efficiency and generate value.
- Peter Buck
Both Clements and Buck spoke to attendees on the ways in which NetDocuments is working to incorporate blockchain strategies into its document publishing and email encryption solutions.
“You will no longer have to wonder if what you have in front of you is the definitive document,” said Buck. “Blockchain makes it possible to prove the providence and accuracy of electronic evidence without a witness to authenticate the contents.”
As blockchain is no exception to risk, Kennedy Luvai, of Parsons, Behle & Latimer, spoke to attendees about the legal issues impacting blockchain including jurisdiction, liability, intellectual property and data privacy. And, the GLBC’s Pierson Grider outlined how the Consortium ultimately mitigates risk because of its network of trust.
“We are building a new, global legal technology ecosystem for intrinsic data integrity, data reconciliation, data security and data privacy. We need everybody because we are working to build one unified ecosystem that increases security, interoperability and productivity.
- Pierson Grider
As an active participant of the Consortium, NetDocuments is actively exploring solutions to protect electronic business records and increase email security. Check back here in the coming weeks and months for regular updates on our strategy and approach to business blockchains. For information specific to the Consortium and how your organization can be involved, visit www.legalconsortium.org.