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How Blockchain Technology Is Transforming The Legal Industry

How Blockchain Technology Is Transforming The Legal Industry

How Blockchain Technology Is Transforming the Legal Industry Blockchain is making its way in to the day-to-day legal practice of major law firms, such as K&L Gates. Its not just a technology that law firms are learning about for client matters. Blockchain could become a core way of how the modern legal practice operates. You dont need to be doing initial coin offerings or issuing tokens to benefit from the blockchain, Judith Rinearson, a partner in K&L Gates New York and London offices, told Bloomberg Law. Rinearson is leading an initiative at her firm that aims to eventually build an internal blockchain, which could be used in time-keeping, filing deeds, and handling merger and acquisition transactions, she said. Blockchainknown as the technology underpinning bitcoinallows for records of transactions to be kept on a digital ledger and shared by everyone in the network. There are multiple blockchains, and the Ethereum blockchain introduced a feature called smart contract that allows coded programs to act upon predefined triggers. Blockchain technology is now being used to build tools and infrastructure that help lawyers draft contracts, record commercial transactions, and verify legal documents. Two examples of such tools and infrastructure are OpenLaw and Integra Ledger. OpenLaw allows lawyers to automatically generate legal agreements and embed smart contracts that can be executed on the blockchain. Integra Ledger provides a permissioned blockchain to increase the integrity of legal documents. Blockchain could help reduce the time lawyers spend on routine tasks and that frees them up to spend more time on legal insights, sources told Bloomberg Law. Lawyers interest in blockchain grew dramatically in 2017. In fact, the legal industry was one of the fastest-growing ind Continue reading >>

Arizona's Governor Signs Latest Blockchain Bill Into Law

Arizona's Governor Signs Latest Blockchain Bill Into Law

Arizona's Governor Signs Latest Blockchain Bill Into Law Arizona corporations can now hold and share data on a blockchainfollowing the signing of new legislation into law by the U.S. state's governor. The bill, first introduced by Representative Jeff Weninger, amends the Arizona Revised Statutes to recognize data written and stored on systems using the technology, as previously reported . Governor Doug Ducey signed the measure on April 3. The Arizona House passed the bill within eight days of its introduction, records show , and the senate followed suit roughly a month later. While the senate unanimously voted to pass the bill, four House Representatives voted against or abstained. The amendments come a year after Arizona began recognizing signatures recorded on a blockchain and smart contracts as legal documentation. Also signed by Ducey, that law allows these signatures to qualify as legal electronic signatures, meaning individuals can sign records or contracts on a blockchain. The new legislation comes amid increased interest in blockchain applications across U.S. state governments. Lawmakers in Delaware advanced and passed similar measures in 2017, becoming the first U.S. state to provide a legal basis for trading stocks on a blockchain. Also last year, a lawmaker in New York introduced four bills aimed at evaluating blockchain applications for data storage purposes, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Similarly, a bill introduced to the Nebraska legislature earlier in 2018 would, if passed, also allow the state to recognize smart contracts and documents stored on a blockchain. The bill would also "authorize and define smart contracts," as well as allow the government itself to adopt distributed ledger technology. The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media Continue reading >>

How Blockchain Technology Can Drive The Legal Industry Forward

How Blockchain Technology Can Drive The Legal Industry Forward

How Blockchain Technology Can Drive the Legal Industry Forward A new legal structure that bestows and monitors trust must be employed. Is decentralization of traditional, gigantic central bank repositories of data the answer? Is blockchain technology the new path that the legal industry should take to sustain in the digital age? Let us consider the most significant implications of decentralized technologies to the legal industry. By Dmitry Dontsov |UPDATEDJan 08, 2018 at 04:48 PM Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. Trust has always been a key instrument of economics. Up until recently, central banks have acted as the metaphorical custodian of trust, employing complex processes that force populations to participate in bank accounts and credit cards to earn trust benefits, like credit scores. Yet, devastating moments such as the 2008 U.S. financial crisis that took an enormous taxpayer-funded bailout showed the same centralized and slow processes were weakening and could not adapt quickly enough in a digital economy. Further, banks have become the number one target for malicious hackers. As a result, banking systems, credit rating agencies and other traditional legal instruments no longer remain effective mechanisms for P2P reputation and trust measurement. This article appeared in Cybersecurity Law & Strategy, an ALM publication for privacy and security professionals, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Corporate Counsel, Internet and Tech Practitioners, In-House Counsel. Visit the website to learn more. A new legal structure that bestows and monitors trust must be employed. Is decentralization of these traditional, gigantic repositories of data the answer? Is blockchain technology Continue reading >>

Blockchain: Background, Challenges And Legal Issues

Blockchain: Background, Challenges And Legal Issues

Blockchain: background, challenges and legal issues Blockchain and distributed ledger technology offers significant and scalableprocessing power, high accuracy rates, and apparently unbreakable securityat a significantly reduced cost compared to the traditional systems thetechnology could replace, such as settlement, trading or accountingsystems. Like all new technology however, it poses challenges for suppliersand customers. So what are the key issues in relation to blockchain anddistributed ledger technology? In its simplest form, blockchain is a decentralisedtechnology or distributed ledger on which transactionsare anonymously recorded. This means the transactionledger is maintained simultaneously across a networkof unrelated computers or servers called nodes, likea spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of timesacross a network of computers. The ledger containsa continuous and complete record (the chain) of alltransactions performed which are grouped into blocks:a block is only added to the chain if the nodes, whichare members in the blockchain network with high levelsof computing power, reach consensus on the next validblock to be added to the chain. A transaction can onlybe verified and form part of a candidate block if all thenodes on the network confirm that the transactionis valid. And in order to determine the validity of acandidate block, miner nodes compete to solve ahighly complex algorithm to verify it (on the BitcoinBlockchain this is known as the Proof of Work). Thefirst node to solve the algorithm and validate the blockshould be rewarded on the Bitcoin Blockchain thisreward takes the form of Bitcoins and this is referredto as mining for Bitcoins. Please see the diagram onpage 6 for further detail of this process. A block generally contains four piece Continue reading >>

Blockchain And The Law

Blockchain And The Law

Posted in CFTC, Cryptocurrencies, Enforcement Action, Jurisdiction Earlier this month, Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a preliminary injunction order against Patrick McDonnell and his company, CabbageTech, Corp. (together, the Defendants). In a landmark ruling, the order upheld the CFTCs position that virtual currencies are commodities subject to CFTC jurisdiction under the Commodities Exchange Act. The preliminary injunction was issued in response to a CFTC complaint from late-January (discussed here ),which alleged that the Defendants defrauded and misappropriated funds from customers in connection with the purported provision of virtual currency investment and trading services involving Bitcoin and Litecoin. According to the CFTC, the Defendants promised as much as 300% return on an investment in less than a week, then shut down all communications once they received funds from numerous customers. While the CFTC has brought several actions against allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency-based schemes, their authority to do so had never been ruled upon by a federal court until now. In ordering the preliminary injunction, Judge Weinstein found that, [u]ntil Congress clarifies the matter, the CFTC has concurrent authority, along with other state and federal administrative agencies, and civil and criminal courts, over dealings in virtual currency. Furthermore, Judge Weinstein affirmed that the CFTCs jurisdiction over virtual currencies extends beyond transactions involving futures or derivatives thereon; and that, as in the case of CabbageTech, the CFTC possesses anti-fraud and anti-manipulation enforcement authority over interstate contracts of sale for virtual currency itself. Posted in CFTC, Cryptocurrencies, Continue reading >>

Arizona Blockchain Bill Signed Into State Law

Arizona Blockchain Bill Signed Into State Law

Arizona Blockchain Bill Signed Into State Law A bill allowing corporations to hold and share data on the Blockchain has been signed into Arizona state law. A bill allowing corporations to hold and share data on a distributed ledger was officially signed into Arizona state law by Governor Doug Ducey, according to a legislation tracker April 3. The Arizona House of Representatives passed HB 2603 with 56 in favor, 3 against, and 1 abstention . The Arizona Senate proceeded to pass the bill unanimously. The bill was first introduced as an amendment to the Arizona Revised Statutes by Rep. Jeff Weninger in February, one of three bills aiming to open the door for emerging technologies in Arizona. HB 2602 and HB 2601 are both awaiting a third reading in the Arizona Senate. The former would prohibit towns from restricting cryptocurrency mining in residences, while the latter aims to address securities and crowdfunding, recognize a virtual coin as a digital representation of value, and authorize its function as a medium of exchange in digital trading. Weningers measures emerge amid a backdrop of robust regulatory moves by the state to recognize and delimit applications of Blockchain technology. As Cointelegraph reported in March, the Arizona Senate passed SB 1091 , which would allow state residents to pay their taxes in Bitcoin . In April last year, HB 2417 legalized Blockchain signatures and recognized the enforceability of smart contracts. Arizonas Revised Statutes now stipulate that data written and stored on Blockchain technology is immutable and auditable and provides an uncensored truth . Across the US , state governments are passing liberal legislation on cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. New Hampshire exempted crypto traders from money transmission regulations i Continue reading >>

Blockchain Technology Is On A Collision Course With Eu Privacy Law

Blockchain Technology Is On A Collision Course With Eu Privacy Law

Blockchain technology is on a collision course with EU privacy law Those who have heard of "blockchain" technology generally know it as the underpinning of the Bitcoin virtual currency, but there are myriad organizations planning different kinds of applications for it: executing contracts , modernizing land registries , even providing new systems for identity management . There's one huge problem on the horizon, though: European privacy law. The bloc's General Data Protection law, which will come into effect in a few months' time, says people must be able to demand that their personal data is rectified or deleted under many circumstances. A blockchain is essentially a growing, shared record of past activity that's distributed across many computers, and the whole point is that this chain of transactions (or other fragments of information) is in practice unchangeable this is what ensures the reliability of the information stored in the blockchain. For blockchain projects that involve the storage of personal data, these two facts do not mix well. And with sanctions for flouting the GDPR including fines of up to 20 million or 4 percent of global revenues, many businesses may find the ultra-buzzy blockchain trend a lot less palatable than they first thought. "[The GDPR] is agnostic about which specific technology is used for the processing, but it introduces a mandatory obligation for data controllers to apply the principle of 'data protection by design'," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the member of the European Parliament who shepherded the GDPR through the legislative process. "This means for example that the data subject's rights can be easily exercised, including the right to deletion of data when it is no longer needed. "This is where blockchain applications will run into Continue reading >>

How New Eu Privacy Laws Will Impact Blockchain: Expert Take

How New Eu Privacy Laws Will Impact Blockchain: Expert Take

How New EU Privacy Laws Will Impact Blockchain: Expert Take New European data protection regulation is hardly compatible with Blockchain In our Expert Takes, opinion leaders from inside and outside the crypto industry express their views, share their experience and give professional advice. Expert Takes cover everything from Blockchain technology and ICO funding to taxation, regulation, and cryptocurrency adoption by different sectors of the economy. If you would like to contribute an Expert Take, please email your ideas and CV to [email protected] . EU privacy laws are set to undergo their biggest overhaul since being created in 1995. The new framework, entitled the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into effect on May 25, 2018 and will drastically change how organizations handle the personal data they collect and use. The GDPR aims to harmonize data privacy laws throughout the EU and give individuals better control over their personal data. Under the GDPR, all organizations that store personal data of EU citizens or residents, including Blockchain projects, will be required to follow stringent data privacy rules. Failure to do so will result in fines based on the severity of the breach, the character of the infringement, and the organizations compliance protocol. The most egregious offenders will face hefty fines up to 20 mln euro or four percent of their annual revenue, whichever is higher. To avoid risking fines, all organizations handling the personal data of EU citizens or residents must take active steps to ensure compliance, not only those physically located in the EU. Because the GDPR applies to any online service that is accessed by EU citizens or residents, the regulations are likely to capture the vast majority of Blockchain projects re Continue reading >>

7 Ways Blockchain Will Change The Legal Industry Forever

7 Ways Blockchain Will Change The Legal Industry Forever

7 ways blockchain will change the legal industry forever 7 ways blockchain will change the legal industry forever From smart contracts to the chain of custody Blockchain technology has received quite a bit of attention over the last year, with the potential to be a transformative force across multiple diverse industries . At the heart of this is the blockchain itself which offers a technique to create and maintain an immutable but also transparent distributed and shared ledger to be able to store information in. When we think of high-tech industries, the legal sector is hardly one that comes to mind. After all, lawyers are often buried in the proverbial mountain of paperwork and the classic film about the legal profession is The Paper Chase, which ends with papers being blown all over the campus quad. However, the blockchain has the ability to disrupt the practice of law, and drag it into the current century theres already a Global Legal Blockchain Consortium which seeks to standardize and promote its adoption. Here are seven ways in which the blockchain will make a big impact on the legal world. Check out how Microsoft is making a blockchain thats fit for business Legal contracts are still written, with physical signatures required on original documents, which requires significant time to accomplish, all for a binding legal agreement. The blockchain holds the promise to change this into a digital process in whats being dubbed smart contracts. These smart contracts could potentially be created and executed directly between the relevant parties, with less lawyer involvement. OpenLaw endeavors to use the blockchain to decrease the cost and friction of creating, securing, and generating binding legal agreements. It also plans to provide the tools for storage of these agre Continue reading >>

Blockchain Data Protection Law | Deloitte Legal Deutschland

Blockchain Data Protection Law | Deloitte Legal Deutschland

IV. Potential conflicts with data protection law Blockchain applications are currently amongst the most discussed topics when it comes to the precursors of the fourth industrial revolution. Within the global Deloitte network, the Deloitte Blockchain Institute was founded in order to analyze and consult on the technical and economic potentials and risks of blockchain applications for sector-specific industries (e.g. telecommunications or media ). The following article deals with blockchain applications from the perspective of data protection law, in particular the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (General Data Protection Regulation - "GDPR"), which will enter into force in May 2018. In addition to an approximation to the term blockchain (cf. section I.), the main question addressed by this article is, to what extent this technology will impact on those areas of life that have been traditionally regulated by analogue law and institutions (cf. section II.). Finally, the potential of blockchain is briefly addressed as an instrument of data protection (cf. section III.) and explains the extent to which data protection law may create certain boundaries to potential applications of blockchain technology (cf. section IV.). As the term already suggests, one of the essential characteristics of a blockchain is the concatenation of blocks. More specifically, such blocks are comprised of a certain number of cumulative records, the contents of which are interconnected in such manner that each subsequent block contains a cryptographic image of the previous block. Thus it can be ensured that data cannot be manipulated unrecognized after the respective data has been entered into a block, completed and "attached" to a subsequent blo Continue reading >>

Blockchain And Ip Law: A Match Made In Crypto Heaven?

Blockchain And Ip Law: A Match Made In Crypto Heaven?

Blockchain and IP law: a match made in crypto heaven? By Birgit Clark, Baker McKenzie, London, United Kingdom Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies have been a hot topic recently, with multiple industries exploring their possibilities and new blockchain use cases emerging almost every day. But how might these technologies be used in the context of intellectual property (IP) law and practice? Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies are a hot topic, with new use cases emerging almost every day (photo: Rick_Jo / iStock / Getty Images Plus). Blockchain technology has become famous as the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In its basic form it is an open ledger of information that can be used to record and track transactions, and which is exchanged and verified on a peer-to-peer network. Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies create a trustworthy and transparent record by allowing multiple parties to a transaction to verify what will be entered onto a ledger in advance without any single party having the ability to change any ledger entries later on. Each transaction or block is transmitted to all the participants in the network and must be verified by each participant node solving a complex mathematical puzzle. Once the block is verified, it is added to the ledger or chain. From the perspective of information, the real innovation of distributed ledger technology is that it ensures the integrity of the ledger by crowdsourcing oversight and removes the need for a central authority. In other words, transactions are verified and validated by the multiple computers that host the blockchain. For this reason it is seen as near unhackable, because to change any of the information on it, a cyber-attack woul Continue reading >>

New Laws Reverse Wyomings Strict Stance On Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies

New Laws Reverse Wyomings Strict Stance On Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies

New Laws Reverse Wyomings Strict Stance on Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies Before the 2018 legislative session, Wyoming was no friend to the emerging technology. But new legislation is solidifying the state as a leader. by Joel Funk, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle / April 9, 2018 The Capitol of the State of Wyoming, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Shutterstock (TNS) CHEYENNE, Wyo. Much ado was made by lawmakers and blockchain companies about legislation passed in March, making Wyoming one of the friendliest states to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. And if you ask Corey Allen Billington, a professor of practice at the University of Wyoming, its not just pomp. Im sky-high on the potentiality of blockchain, he said. In my mind, its right where the internet was in 1997. Hawaii Considers Cryptocurrency Consumer Protection Bill West Virginia Becomes First State to Test Mobile Voting by Blockchain in a Federal Election Blockchain Voting Has its First Testbed State: West Virginia Wyoming is now set up statutorily to become a national and world leader in the blockchain sector, if the legislative measures proponents are correct. All five bills related to blockchain technology House Bills 19, 70, 101 and 126 and Senate File 111 made their way through the Wyoming Legislature during the 2018 budget session. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger for storing information, including cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies the most commonly known is bitcoin are essentially digital money. Many have touted Wyoming as an ideal place for the blockchain sector to flourish. Given Wyomings need for economic diversification going forward, state lawmakers have gone all-in on making sure statutes can foster the sector. The legislative measures were, in part, seen as a part of Wyomings economic diversification Continue reading >>

Blockchain And The Law

Blockchain And The Law

Since Bitcoin appeared in 2009, the digital currency has been hailed as an Internet marvel and decried as the preferred transaction vehicle for all manner of criminals. It has left nearly everyone without a computer science degree confused: Just how do you mine money from ones and zeros? The answer lies in a technology called blockchain, which can be used for much more than Bitcoin. A general-purpose tool for creating secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer applications, blockchain technology has been compared to the Internet itself in both form and impact. Some have said this tool may change society as we know it. Blockchains are being used to create autonomous computer programs known as smart contracts, to expedite payments, to create financial instruments, to organize the exchange of data and information, and to facilitate interactions between humans and machines. The technology could affect governance itself, by supporting new organizational structures that promote more democratic and participatory decision making. Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright acknowledge this potential and urge the law to catch up. That is because disintermediationa blockchains greatest assetsubverts critical regulation. By cutting out middlemen, such as large online operators and multinational corporations, blockchains run the risk of undermining the capacity of governmental authorities to supervise activities in banking, commerce, law, and other vital areas. De Filippi and Wright welcome the new possibilities inherent in blockchains. But as Blockchain and the Law makes clear, the technology cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking. Continue reading >>

Blockchain & Law - Working Group - Blockchainhub

Blockchain & Law - Working Group - Blockchainhub

The Blockchain & Law Working Group Berlin (BCLAW) is an informal group of lawyers, software developers, and entrepreneurs working with blockchain technology. In a series of meetings, the group has jointly identified a number of legal issues arising from the use of blockchain technology today and in the near future. The aim of the Blockchain & Law Working Group is to discuss those issues in depth within subgroups, based on a multi stakeholder approach. The results of our work will be shared openly with the rest of the world on this site and on our wiki. With our work, we strive to support the creation of a blockchain-friendly legal environment. That entails analyzing blockchain-hostile regulation, identifying omissions in law that cause legal insecurities, identifying opportunities to use blockchain in regulatory environments rather than as a subject of regulation and to come up with innovation-friendly solutions. The issues around which we have created subgroups are: Startups trying to operate as DAOs are in need of a legal framework that allows them to conduct business not only within the closed world of a blockchain network but to interact with the physical world, the world of traditional financial instruments and that of intellectual property. Legal implications of cryptocurrencies, incl. civil and tax law implications, as well as pending anti money laundering legislation which might render certain blockchain based business modelsunviable. Smart Contracts are incomplete. They need a legal layer to be compliant with todays laws and regulations, as well as to capture the dynamic evolution of real world relationships. Blockchain Technology in its purest form is radically transparent. Privacy regulations make todays Blockchain architecture difficult to implement for est Continue reading >>

The Coming Era Of State Blockchain Regulation

The Coming Era Of State Blockchain Regulation

Home The Coming Era of State Blockchain Regulation The Coming Era of State Blockchain Regulation State lawmakers have spent much of the last few decades grappling with the sweeping changes brought by the Internet. Even as that process continues, a recent technological innovation, blockchain - which some have called Internet 2.0 - appears to have started a whole new cycle of legislative and regulatory action in the states. In its capacity as a platform for interstate and international commerce, the Internet is a regulatory matter for the federal government. But since the Internet Revolution really began to impact the daily lives of the general public in the 1990s with the arrival of the World Wide Web and graphical web browsers, states have - as with many other issues that fall within federal purview - regulated in the gaps of that federal jurisdiction. While the Federal Communications Commission was drafting rules during the Obama administration requiring Internet providers to treat all content the same and Congress was repeatedly debating legislation that would allow states to collect sales taxes from out-of-state Internet retailers, states were passing laws making in-state affiliates of Internet retailers subject to sales taxes and requiring private or public entities to notify individuals about security breaches involving their personal information . On occasion states have also challenged federal edicts on Internet commerce. In 2016, for example, South Dakota passed remote sales tax legislation aimed at overturning the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, affirming that a business must have a physical presence or nexus in a state in order for it to be subject to that states sales tax. And after the FCC voted this past December to repeal its Continue reading >>

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