eDiscovery Daily Blog
Understanding Blockchain and its Impact on Legal Technology, Part Three
Editor’s Note: Tom O’Connor is a nationally known consultant, speaker, and writer in the field of computerized litigation support systems. He has also been a great addition to our webinar program, participating with me on several recent webinars. Tom has also written several terrific informational overview series for CloudNine, including his most recent one, Will Lawyers Ever Embrace Technology?, which we covered as part of a webcast on November 28 of last year. Now, Tom has written another terrific overview regarding blockchain and legal technology titled Understanding Blockchain and its Impact on Legal Technology that we’re happy to share on the eDiscovery Daily blog. Enjoy! – Doug
Advantages and Challenges of Blockchain
So, why is blockchain becoming more popular and what advantages are associated with it? And, if it’s so great, why aren’t more people using it?
Advantages of Blockchain
Blockchain has several structural advantages:
- Establishes a definitive record for a given transaction
- An organization can embed the verification for the transaction within the transactional record itself,
- It is readily accessible
- It is easily verifiable
- It is immutable
- It is transparent
- Offers assurance across all transactions subject to the blockchain.
- Allows full testing of the population in its entirety
- Allows reliable spot-checks at any time
- No need for third party audit to sample a portion of transactions and extrapolate from the sample based upon statistical probabilities because blockchain exposes the full population of transactions
Challenges to Blockchain Adoption
At the same time, Blockchain faces several distinct challenges to widespread adoption, including:
- Business leaders want practical solutions and blockchain is still considered by many to be an esoteric solution
- Are their blockchain standards to which businesses can refer?
- Are distributed ledgers actually slower than centralized ones?
- Are distributed ledgers easily available to all users?
- How secure are distributed ledgers?
- Can privacy be assured in a blockchain scheme?
- How does security differ in public vs private blockchains?
We’ll publish Part 4 – General Use Cases for Blockchain – next Monday.
So, what do you think? Do you understand blockchain and how it can impact the legal profession? If not, keep reading! And, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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