New Technology on the Block. In a global economy with increasingly far-flung workforces, companies often need to pay contract workers in other countries.
They can do it the conventional way, involving processing an invoice and either cutting a check or collecting and managing direct-deposit data. Along the way, currency has to be converted, meaning a middleman is paid a percentage to make the exchange. Or companies can pay in bitcoin. The payment with the digital currency is immediate, and if the worker lives in a country such as India that has a bitcoin exchange, there are minimal fees to convert. Compared with conventional banking, it is simpler, cheaper and faster. How Close Are Smart Contracts to Impacting Real-World Law? Josh Stark is a lawyer and head of operations and legal at Ledger Labs, a blockchain consulting firm and development group.
In this opinion piece, Stark focuses on "smart contracts" as an alternative form of legal agreement, speculating on how they could come to impact his industry. Over the last year, the concept of a "smart contract" has received renewed attention in legal and business circles. Advancements in blockchain technology have led some to believe that smart contracts could soon offer alternatives to traditional commercial and financial agreements, with dire results for the legal and financial sectors. While this enthusiasm may be premature, the legal profession nonetheless remains mostly unaware of this important emerging technology and the long-term implications for their profession.
Blockchain Technology Will Transform the Practice of Law. Editor’s Note: The authors of this post are attorneys at Holland & Knight.
By Joe Dewey, Partner, and Shawn Amuial, Associate, Holland & Knight There is no shortage of articles written about the application of blockchain technology to the law. The majority of these articles, however, have focused on either regulatory concerns raised by the use of blockchain technology — primarily in the context of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin — or its possible implementation in the field of smart contracts. Blockchain technology to disrupt financial, legal fields. In 10 years, innovation that's now being nurtured and mined at companies all over the world will have led to enormous changes in how people live their lives and how companies operate, remaking the global economy.
That's according to Alec Ross, former innovation adviser to Hillary Clinton during her term as U.S. Secretary of State, who lays out the thesis in his new book, The Industries of the Future. According to Ross, a decade hence, robots will take care of the elderly, displace Uber drivers, release radiation inside the human body to treat cancer, and automate sedation of patients undergoing colonoscopies, among other tasks.
Blockchain's big opportunity for lawyers. Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Ashurst partner Phil Trinca said rather than killing off jobs for lawyers, smart contracts and blockchain would open up entirely new fields for legal work.
"Lawyers will be needed in the process of transforming contracts into a computer code," he said.