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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Will Bitcoin Destroy Lawyers?

A revolution in information technology may soon turn the theory of “smart contracts” into an actual mechanism for increasing trust among transacting parties, reducing the risks inherent when third party intermediaries are needed and even redefining lawyers’ role in and stranglehold over the modern economy. 

Universal access to mathematical proof can give new life to the Russian proverb (which Americans may know from President Reagan’s English translation): “Trust but verify.”1

Bitcoin2 – along with a growing number of similar cryptosecurity systems such as Ethereum3 -- is a series of algorithmic protocols which use mathematical proof to verify and secure data. Its ability to provide for the strongest, most verifiable proof of ownership with which to facilitate fast transfers of information and assets lends itself to other applications where the need to involve and trust in a third party (and the risk of third party negligence, malfeasance or failed performance) can be reduced or eliminated.

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