eDiscovery Daily Blog

Understanding Blockchain and its Impact on Legal Technology

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.  Here’s the first part.


I first started paying attention to blockchain at ILTACON17 when I noticed how often it was cited in security sessions.  Like many people, I had associated blockchain only with bitcoin, and thus tended to dismiss it as a one trick pony.

Even thought Don & Alex Tapscott described it in their 2016 book, Blockchain Revolution , as “ … the next generation Internet.”, I also had trouble seeing it as a solution for day to day business problems.  It didn’t seem to me be the practical sort of tool with solid standards that business people would deploy and I was concerned about the security of recording transactions in public ledgers while at the same time being able to protect privacy.

The ILTA session helped me overcome some of those concerns as I learned how blockchain tools were dealing with these issues.  And I’ve continued to monitor the growth of the tool since then. This paper is an attempt to give an overview of where blockchain is at the onset of 2019.

In this paper, we will look at several topics related to blockchain and legal technology:

  1. Understanding Blockchain and Bitcoin
  2. Advantages and Challenges of Blockchain
  3. General Use Cases for Blockchain
  4. Blockchain in Legal Technology and eDiscovery
  5. Conclusions

We’ll publish Part 2 – Understanding Blockchain and Bitcoin – on Wednesday.

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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