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

Tom’s overview is split into six parts, so we’ll cover each part separately.  Part one was Monday and part two was Wednesday, here’s the third part.

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.

Sponsor: This blog is sponsored by CloudNine, which is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations, and litigation. Used by legal and business customers worldwide including more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms and many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine’s eDiscovery automation software and services help customers gain insight and intelligence on electronic data.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.