Global conglomerates, tech giants and now nations are implementing block chain technology for a variety of reasons.

Improved transparency leading to gains in trust is an overriding benefit of implementing the blockchain, which offers the potential to re-define some of the user’s key business relationships.

Removing the paper trail and gravitating towards a safer, faster, and more efficient infrastructure are the drivers for many stakeholders looking to use the blockchain platform. IBM is already working on more than 500 projects utilising blockchain technology according to their website.

Arguably the most famous blockchain crypto asset (Bitcoin) has seen a recent increase in acceptance in the mainstream due to a wider understanding of the crypto currency. One of the most endearing stories of Bitcoin so far is not the famous “Pizza Day”. Recently reported by Forbes magazine, a beachside town in El Salvador received an anonymous donation from a grateful visitor. This has led to the creation of a financial ecosystem that evolves almost entirely around the cryptocurrency.

Even with closed borders (due to Covid-19) the town of El Zonte has managed to find their own route forwards especially now that the currency is at an all-time high and is pushing the $11,000 price per coin mark. The transparency of the blockchain network benefits all the stakeholders in the supply chain in the same way, transparent, automated and exceptionally fast.

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP have paired with the Australian Government and IBM to further their digital economy. Known as the Australian National Blockchain (ANB) the ANB will soon invite regulators, financial institutions and business to take part in the pilot set to launch by the end of the year according to their website.

Smart legal contracts are exciting and a great legal talking point. The benefit of automation also come with limitations and headache. What happens when they cannot be reversed? There is an inherent lack of flexibility with no undo button to press.

It’s clear that there is a race to harness the benefits of the blockchain technology, Dubai is aspiring to become the first government to run fully on smart contracts which is fascinating as the speed at which the emirate and country is becoming digitised is commendable.

As always this space will be an exciting one to watch. Many legal opportunities will present themselves, not least regulatory and a compliance related, it will be an interesting watch to say the least.

By Mathew Parker, Consultant at Fides Search. He dedicates his time to working with clients on their key strategic hires within TMT. To find out more get in touch with Mathew:

Mobile: +44 (0) 7391 405 563 | Direct Dial:+44 (0) 20 3642 1874 |

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