Smart contracts will likely disrupt many industries within a very short time frame. The potential for their use increases as more assets come to be represented digitally, such as mortgages, intellectual property, land and money. The legal industry needs to stay on top of the developments in this area and continually review how smart contracts, in whatever guise, fit within existing legal frameworks. If they don’t fit, lawyers and coders will need to work together to determine how such legal frameworks might be modified to work together.
On the heels of publishing the Cyber Attack Toolkit, our Information Communication and Technology (ICT) team, who advise on the full spectrum of ICT matters for the private and public sector – has published an introductory booklet, demystifying the topic of smart contracts and blockchain. The booklet includes information on the concept of smart contracts, the blockchain database, Bitcoin, and the firm’s vision for the future of smart contracts.
The booklet explains the conceptual origins of smart contracts; how and why blockchain technology made them a reality; their early uses and how they might affect commercial and legal relations in the future. If you want to find out why the next generation of lawyers will be like vending machine engineers, the booklet is for you.
Russell McVeagh has made this publication accessible to all clients and the wider public via this link, and encourages any queries on smart contracts to be directed to Michael Taylor for further advice.
A series of more detailed pieces will follow.
This publication is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice.