Blockchain technology is not just a buzzword for technology gurus–it is indeed poised to change the way that businesses and governments interact with each other on a very large scale. While we will only speak about its implications on the legal industry in this article, there are myriad other uses for this top-of-the-line technology and its full potential has yet to be tapped or even dreamt of.
If you are not familiar, blockchain technology is different from many other forms of transaction and database collection because it is decentralized and immutable. Rather than being stored on one central server that can be corrupted or hacked, blockchain utilizes the power of thousands of computers to store information simultaneously and in a more secure and encrypted way.
Blockchain was first thrust into the spotlight due to the rising popularity of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency to use blockchain technology to ensure transactions are more secure, but has since become a tool for many growing technology companies to do business in a safer way for all parties.
1. Smart Contracts
One of the most obvious ways that blockchain technology is poised to revolutionize the legal industry is through the use of so-called smart contracts, which are more accurately automated blockchain transactions than they are true contracts.
The most exciting use of these contracts is that they cut out the middlemen–instead of needing a set of brokers to ensure that the terms of a contract are met and meted out according to their writing, smart contracts are set into motion automatically when the terms of the contract are set.
The biggest blockchain network at this time is Ethereum, and this company has already begun to roll out their smart contract technology. While a human element will always be necessary in this legal process, blockchain technology will improve its speed, security, and privacy without the need for adding more paperwork to your plate.
2. Dispute Resolution
A ripple effect of blockchain technology and smart contracts will be their future role in dispute resolution, whether that is partnership litigation or disputes with suppliers, manufacturers, and other vital parts of the business supply chain.
Avoiding going to court whenever possible is always helpful, especially in cases that will be so cut-and-dry due to blockchain technology’s immutable collection of data. In this way, it is likely that blockchain will surely shape a different future for dispute resolution than currently exists, streamlining the process and keeping people out of court.
3. Changes to Insurance and Personal Injury Claims
Another change that blockchain technology will have on the legal industry is changes to insurance claims and processing. No longer will individual adjusters handle each claim–instead, the blockchain database can do much of the work for them, cutting down the manpower needed to cover each claim.
Las Vegas accident lawyer Adam Williams notes this is good news for personal injury attorneys, as much of the red tape will be cleared once the process of utilizing blockchain technology in insurance is more well-known and adopted by the majority. Blockchain may also help to cut down on the administrative tasks that personal injury attorneys are known to be bogged down with by having a centralized database that cannot be lost but is still secure enough for legal documentation and medical documentation.
Don’t Worry–Blockchain Won’t Replace Lawyers Anytime Soon
While it remains to be seen what upheavals blockchain will have upon the legal industry, there’s no doubt that this technology has the potential to make our lives better and to help us improve the way that we communicate. The legal world could use a bit more streamlining and blockchain looks like it will have a large role in that future.