Blockchain: a Catalyst for Change in Law Practice?

By Jeffrey E. Kirkey posted 06-14-2017 10:47


In the future, “smart” contracts will execute automatically, IP rights become irrefutable, real estate deeds are transferred with confidence and without the need for a title search because of Blockchain.

If you don’t know much about Blockchain yet, you will soon.

“Blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value money, but also titles, deeds, identities, even votes  can be moved, stored and managed securely and privately. Trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than by powerful intermediaries like governments and banks.” – 

Dan Tapscott, author of Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World.

Each block in the chain creates an accurate, time-stamped record as to that block that cannot later be altered. Blockchain is virtually impossible to hack. Is it the next big legal disruptor? Surely it will encounter some roadblocks before Blockchain really takes off, but eventually the market will win out. Blockchain will cut out many middlemen. If you’d like to learn more, a lawyer named Caitlin Moon has a two part series on what it is and how it will likely affect lawyers and industries. See Part 1 and Part 2. There is also an excellent TED Talk presented by Don Tapscott about Blockchain.


Blockchain is just one example of technology’s accelerating impact on law practice. Blockchain holds great promise but also some risk for lawyers’ practices. How do you see Blockchain changing the way you practice in the future?