Blockchain continues to be the most polarising concept in technology—with its advocates and critics each fervently making their case for the technology’s potential and necessity, or its folly and waste. There is, however, consensus that ‘blockchain’ is relevant.
In short, blockchain continues to develop beyond its initial cryptocurrency use case, into areas such as ‘non-fungible tokens’, ‘decentralised autonomous organisations’, and decentralised finance—often with little respect for the status quo. To blockchain proponents, these use cases are overpowering and underway. To critics, they are overcooked and underwhelming. In any case, it behoves us to pay attention and to understand the ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of blockchain, as its relevance looks set to continue.
This paper takes a high-level view of blockchain technology, its practicalities, and how it can be applied to the legal landscape while also looking at future opportunities for the technology.
This paper is broken out into sections that explore what blockchain is and how it is impacting the legal environment. The outline below briefly summarises each section of the paper.