Login | October 19, 2017

Blockchain legal consortium formed

RICHARD WEINER
Legal News Reporter

Published: October 6, 2017

Well, that was a big week in the blockchain!

On Aug.t 24, The Verge and a couple of other tech news services got a mysterious email supposedly from the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, a person no one has ever met, but who supposedly invented Bitcoin, about updates that he had made to blockchain database technology.

And the next day, the great Bob Ambrogi broke the story of a new legal blockchain consortium put together by Baker Hostetler’s CIO. Thanks again, Bob.

As a reminder: I posted a piece about what I saw as the future of secure legal databases in blockchain technology in the Legal News back on April 21. Check it out on our website if you want to catch up on what the blockchain is, but it is, basically, a very secure form of data transfer and storage, used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, in its nine years of existence, has supposedly never been hacked. The blockchain is being looked at by a lot of entities in finance and other areas. I thought it would make sense in law.

Now, it looks like other folks feel the same way.

The Global Legal Blockchain Consortium announced its existence on Aug. 22. It “envisions an interoperable and secure legal industry based on a foundation of universal, blockchain-based legal identities,” according to its website, agnostic of software and dedicated to creating universal legal blockchain-based identities for attorneys, clients and etc.

Founding consortium members include the Cleveland-based Baker Hostetler firm (with about 950 attorneys), the San Francisco-based international law firm Orrick, IBM Watson Legal, and a new outfit, the MIT media lab, and new company Integra Ledger, which wants to be the blockchain ledger for the legal world (and who seems to only have a LinkedIn presence, but go ahead and look).

Clearly this is just the beginning of the application of the blockchain to the law, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the direction legal cybersecurity will move in, in both the near and long term.

(And, oh yeah, I was right again).

To the web: To this point, the consortium only has a landing page at: http://www.legalconsortium.org. They will send you info if you ask nicely.

Also, you can watch the consortium announcement from Las Vegas here: https://youtu.be/kaIMMMKWDwE

And keep your eyes out for a consortium hackathon, coming soon to a lab near you.


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