Blockchain and the legal sector

10/01/2018

Gordon Smith reports for the Gazette on the first ever legal hackathon in Ireland.

A revolutionary technology

The first ever legal hackathon in Ireland explored potential uses for blockchain – a technology with the potential to revolutionise how law firms do business. Held at Matheson’s Dublin headquarters, this intensive collaborative session included presentations and mentoring from experts representing IBM, Deloitte, Aid:Tech, Bank of Ireland, and Integra Ledger to help participants understand the concept of blockchain and its potential applications.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer network that facilitates ‘the exchange of value’. That value can be anything, from Bitcoin, to houses, digital identity, cars or land. The technology’s secure, tamper-proof records could remove the need for banks, law firms, or even governments – making it truly revolutionary.

In fact, by speeding up transaction times, blockchain could benefit law firms twice over. It can create internal efficiencies in delivering services, and also unlock cost savings that firms could then pass on to presumably grateful clients.

Gordon Smith is a freelance technology journalist and a regular contributor to the Gazette. In a report on the hackathon, he discusses existing and future applications of blockchain, from the Republic of Georgia’s validating registration of land titles and mortgages using the technology to Irish firms already unlocking its potential.

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