On August 15th, a group of law firms and technology companies announced the formation of the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium. The consortium will work to drive the adoption and standardization of blockchain in the legal industry, with the larger goal of improving the security and interoperability of the global legal technology ecosystem.
As noted in a post in Bob Ambrogi's LawSites blog, members of the consortium include the law firms Baker Hostetler and Orrick, IBM Watson Legal, and the newly formed company Integra Ledger, which hopes to become the ledger used throughout the legal industry for blockchain digital identities.
The consortium's three goals for the future of blockchain in legal:
- An interoperable and secure global legal industry using blockchain technology.
- Agnostic as to software, agnostic as to document management systems, and agnostic as to blockchain.
- Universal, blockchain-based identities for law – client identity, matter identity, document identity.
Drummon Reed, chief trust officer at Evernum, said, "With a blockchain, every transaction is digitally signed, every transaction is chained together, and it's replicated on hundreds of computers around the world with digital signatures," noting that Bitcoin has never been hacked in its nine years of existence.
Another speaker, David Fisher, the founder and CEO of Integra ledger, said that the key application of blockchain in law will be universal legal identities. Virtually anything or anyone will have a unique digital identity — legal matters, documents, individuals, entities, billing entities, and more. The identities will provide proof of existence and uniqueness, without identifying details, that can be used by all Integra-compliant software.
The consortium's vision, Fisher said, is for every major law firm and corporate legal department to be a node in the blockchain with a synchronized copy of all the sequential ledger entries of identities. This will lead, in turn, to an open market for innovation in which these Integra identities will be referenced by:
- Other blockchains.
- Legacy software companies, in order to add functionality.
- Smart contracts.
- Custom apps developed by corporate legal departments and law firms.
- Applications developed by other consortia and working groups.
A kick-off event for the consortium, the MIT Legal Forum on AI + Blockchain, will be held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. on October 30 and 31. Registration information is available here.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology