Although it's not a mainstream technology yet, major corporations, ranging from IBM to the Royal Bank of Canada, are taking it seriously.
Books about the technology are selling briskly. Especially popular is "Blockchain Revolution" by Don and Alex Tapscott.
A number of my clients have flagged me to include allusions to the implications of blockchain in the content I prepare for them.
To begin to get my head around the subject, I started out with "Blockchain for Dummies" by Tiana Laurence. It remains a useful reference text. However, clients prefer material quoted from brandnames in the front lines such as the Tapscotts.
No surprise then, even the usually technology-challenged field of law is paying attention to blockchain.
In Law.com, Zach Warren discusses 2018 trends for blockchain. They include:
- More law schools will custom-make courses on blockchain. Those already offered such as at U of C Berkeley fill up fast.
- In-house hiring of lawyers specializing in cryptocurrencies. They are based on the blockchain platform.
- Hands-on development of blockchain applications by law firms and in-house legal departments.
- Incorporating court rulings and regulations related to blockchain in litigation strategy. SEC head Jay Clayton, for example, predicts cryptocurrencies in Initial Coin Offerings will be regulated as securities. Here is my article on that.
- Partnering with regulators to establish standards. It's in the self-interest of the private sector to have their in-house lawyers and outside firms assist in this process.
Meanwhile, opportunities are opening up in just about every profession for those who have acquired expertise in blockchain. That doesn't have to include the actual coding. Does that mean we all have to become blockchain-literate? It's playing out that way.
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