What are the trends in the legal market, when you live in the middle of a vast horizon?
Silicon Valley each week has showed me it is impossible to create any barrier that is able to stop the advance of what is happening in a huge scenario called the legal market.
Cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and smart contracts are buzzwords and are common nowadays, especially because blockchain technology has influenced a lot of transactions.
Originally, blockchain technology started with bitcoin – financial transactions and their processes and operations (including contracts). It is transforming the way business is done around the world. It reaches different areas, such as retail, that have started to use these kinds of transactions with their suppliers, supply chain management, IoT and small businesses.
Smart contracts started in financial services, specifically referring to the circumstances of the payments, but now they have business applicability.
Situations involving parts of the contracts (types of payment, the amount, the deadlines) can easily utilize smart contracts. There are numerous benefits, among them, (i) clear rules and, (ii) the parties can agree by using each one of their private keys without middlemen (lawyers or other intermediaries) in a peer-to-peer relationship.
The workflow happens in a platform that interacts with the parties, it provides direct communication, saving costs and time, with the use of precise information, at the same time, in the same way.
In other words, smart contracts are much more efficient and secure, and blockchain is the ledger that logs all transactions of a cryptography allowing the agreement between parties. The execution of the contract is transparent and safe, because none of the parties involved can manipulate the information.
In summary, blockchain will have a positive impact on the activity of a lawyer, even non-technology lawyers. Corporate lawyers should take note as their companies deal with these transactions in their business relations and learn how this new way will transform their jobs.
When transactions happen more frequently through smart contracts, in the near future, we will need to use and know how to deal with this technology and its applicability, including future disputes, private keys, blockchain ledger, regulation, etc.
At the least, we can say that contracts are suffering the first signs of disruption.