What is the Blockchain: A Guide for Lawyers

Useful article in the Legal Examiner

Blockchain technology has many applications, and as the following guide explores, it can be particularly impactful for lawyers. In broad strokes, the blockchain can make the legal sector more transparent, accessible, and efficient by reducing costs and establishing data integrity long-term.

Think of the blockchain as one cohesive yet decentralized, digital spreadsheet that anybody can access and engage with at any time. This technological innovation has not only enabled countless companies to reinvent themselves, but it also underpins thousands of cryptocurrency coins and tokens worth trillions of dollars.

Let’s dive into how the blockchain functions and can transform the legal profession.


Why is the Blockchain a Big Deal?

Diagonal chain made of zeros and onesThe overarching blockchain and cryptocurrency ethos are one of empowerment via disintermediation. It enables decentralized networks to function, removing the need for a central party.

The blockchain was invented by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto as a “Layer 1” solution for peer-to-peer payments and was unveiled in 2008. Its original use case was to simply verify the transfer of funds between two parties, prevent double spending, and build a decentralized global payment network.

Since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, blockchain technology has seen numerous iterations and applications, such as smart contracts, digital collectibles like NFTs, and more.

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