Distributed ledger technology — more commonly known as blockchain — is moving from theory and white papers to the prototyping stage, and in limited cases, real-world implementation. This transition from discussion to implementation is occurring at a much faster pace than most expected and its adoption is being driven in large part by the prospect of greater efficiency and cost savings, which at scale can potentially be game-changing for several industries, including legal.
In a new white paper, Blockchain Technology: Why Law & Finance Won’t Look the Same in Five Years by Josias N. Dewey, a partner at Holland & Knight, the author shows how blockchain technology continues to evolve from being the pet technology of a large collection of hobbyists and academics to being put into increased use by some of the world’s largest technology companies, including IBM®, Microsoft® and Intel — all of whom are devoting significant resources to advancing blockchain technology.
In addition to those developing the technology, the list of industry players deeply committed to adopting the technology has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, and now includes large global banks and securities exchanges.
While blockchain technology is not appropriate for every use case, promising use cases have been identified in banking, capital markets, insurance, supply chains (including trade finance), government, energy, real estate and many more industries.
In addition to the more obvious benefits, such as the elimination of trusted intermediaries and the reduction in transaction costs, there are even more fundamental benefits. These arise from the digital and distributed nature of blockchains, which allow for the application of at least two other revolutionary technologies — the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) — to the business logic implemented on blockchains.