Blockchain technology is revolutionizing various industries and businesses, and legal industry is one of them. It is enticing legal businesses with different characteristics, especially with the feature of securing information in an encrypted and transparent ledger.
Disruptive Blockchain Technology Is Reshaping the Legal Industry
Blockchain technology is termed as a digitized, decentralized and public ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and verifiable with the help of cryptography.
With this technology, the data is stored into blocks containing a hash pointer linking it with the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. The whole mechanism is designed such that data stored in any particular block cannot be changed or deleted without the alteration of all the successive blocks, which demands collusion of the network majority.
Real-World Application of Blockchain Technology in Legal Businesses
Blockchain technology is on the pace to disrupt the legal industry. Although not much wide-scale adoption has happened, there are various projects proving how blockchain is transforming the industry; becoming the prime medium to guide and serve the clients with better opportunities and services. Some of the prevalent ways blockchain technology is leaving its imprints in the legal industry are:
Blockchains are already in use for creating smart contracts – the contracts capable of holding records and performing the processes around that without any human intervention. For example, Let’s say you have created a contract that defines that once your patent is approved by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), your partners will get a share of 10 percent. Now, the blockchain will continue to check if the patent was approved or not. Once approved, it will initiate a process releasing the shares to the partners.
Due to the least dependency on humans, it is supposed to lessen the delays in the processes and make the legal processes easy and effortless.
Land registry and deed management
The blockchain is also being used to meet the most challenging aspect of developing countries, i.e. to get access to the information about who owns a land area. The blockchain is providing a public secure ledger that will be accessible by the government, landowner and all the people involved. The ledger will display information about the ownership along with the date when the ownership was switched. This way, it will help in making the land exchange easier and unbiased; limiting the disputes and frauds associated with land resources.
Several Latin American nations are planning to use blockchain technology as a channel to keep a track of who possesses a piece of land and so on. In some areas in Africa, land disputes have become a general norm due to the falsification of data, centralization, and lack of transparency from the respective issuing parties. But with blockchain technology springing into action, it would be very unlikely for such incidents to repeat itself.
Intellectual Property right management
Likewise, the blockchain can provide a transparent, immutable and secure record of filing for property rights that one can access anytime and anywhere. It can be seen as a way to supply evidence of first use and integrate with different kinds of patents, trademarks, and copyrights – with every process automated.
Public record maintenance
Blockchain technology is also employed to maintain and secure public records – to manage census data and other related information of the citizens and businesses within its jurisdiction like birth/death record, business licenses, marital status, criminal record, etc.
Various African countries are looking forward to the technology of trust for keeping the census information incorporated with the voter records information to have a central storehouse of eligible citizens.
In a nutshell, the increasing application of blockchain technology is in favor of the legal industry, real estate and other business verticals in the market. Though it is not yet predicted what the future of blockchain technology would be like for the legal industry, one thing that is certain is that the whole world of legal businesses will reach the next level with this technology of trust. The lawyers will work upon becoming blockchain-savvy and including the technology in almost every work process to remain relevant in the legal industry.
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