Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, which is based on an application of blockchain technology, appears to be here to stay, currently experiencing a resurgence in its value. There couldn’t have been a better way to introduce block chain technology to the world at large than to apply it in the payments space, complete with the mining of value as a way to make its adoption appealing to the masses.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are just specific applications of blockchain technology though, as suggested, with so many other applications. The legal industry is one area which could benefit greatly from adopting the blockchain, which leads us to the discussion of exactly what the block chain is before we can explore exactly what it could mean to the legal industry.
What is blockchain technology?
Blockchain tech is simply a public ledger system which effectively stores transactional records in what is effectively a decentralised database. The data is effectively stored as records over a large network, as opposed to just in one central location, which makes those records publically accessible to anyone who might need to make reference to them.
So in the case of cryptocurrencies, if you send a payment to somebody, a record of that payment is kept on a network whose power is derived from the fact that it’s comprised out of many different computers, but in addition to that specific payment, records of where that value was stored prior to it coming into your possession are also stored. Hence the term “blockchain.”
Now, if we look beyond the world of cryptocurrencies then it becomes apparent that this is some very useful technology to have access to, because it can be applied in various different fields and industries that are heavily reliant on record-keeping. One such industry is the legal industry.
Blockchain tech in the legal industry
If for example you’re looking for a personal injury attorney Los Angeles legal firms have available, one application of the blockchain tech as far as that goes would be a decentralised database which shows the real-time availability of these legal professionals, along with all the other information you’d need, including their track-record in winning cases and their general performance. That’s probably just a surface-level application of the block chain in the legal industry though, because it can get much, much deeper than that.
Since blockchain tech is effectively a public ledger system, with the stored and updated records maintained by a decentralised computing network, this could go as far as making for a much more accurate means through which to apply the law. So you would effectively get competent legal counsel even if you can’t afford to fork out thousands of dollars for an expensive lawyer as a wealthy individual would do.
There would still be a need for the human element in qualified legal professionals though, but their role would be focussing on the aspects of the legal process such as making sure defendants or plaintiffs show up to the court, as well as case evaluation.