Want to disrupt the legal industry? How about some block chain tech?

Millions of developers use Git on a daily basis and rely on commit hashes to create an ordered guarantee of history. However, Git users must manually choose who they trust to update commit changes.

However, imagine the following scenario:

  1. Thousands of transactions, or pieces of data are being recorded each second.
  2. All of that data can be committed to a Git repository. Perhaps data can be batched together into a single commit.
  3. After recording thousands of commits, each containing thousands of transactions, a single hash, such as “f883f426c6da861bb31c5b5d645e638d44cb2c1f” is published each day.

This hash guarantees the integrity of all of the commits in the Git repository. The hash could be tweeted, or even published in a newspaper, guaranteeing an ordered history of events.

via Is Git A Block Chain? · Domus Tower.

I think block chain technology is one of the few truly innovative and disruptive technologies in the legal space. I mean let’s face it does law practice need another expert system, search engine, or  document assembler? All of that tech is decades old at this point and improvements are nice and useful but hardly disruptive. Block chain on the other is actually something pretty new that provides lots of interesting potential in the legal space.

Imagine following the scenario outlined above but instead of just uniquely identifying bits of code, you’re talking about legal documents. Contracts, leases, bills of sale, judicial opinions, briefs, opinion letters, statutes, regulations, complaints, answers, depositions all uniquely identified and identifiable in a block chain. That would be an actual innovation and would disrupt the entire legal system.

Work is starting in this area with some interesting papers already beginning to turn up on SSRN. If you’re truly interested in disrupting the legal industry quit looking at warmed over 20th century tech and focus on something truly new.

My Twitter Digest for 04/24/2015