Nice little summing up report on PaymentSource.com about the state of play in legal and the blockchain at the moment.
The smart contract industry is still in its infancy. However, several legal-tech startups, including OpenLaw of ConsenSys (United States), Accord Project (United States and United Kingdom), Agrello (Estonia), are using smart contracts in legal applications already. The primary challenge this industry faces is the development of infrastructure that makes it possible to implement the contracts, including intelligent locks and other IoT-connected hardware.
The legal profession has long been defined by thousands of hours of dreary study of legal texts. Those days might be ending with the advent of artificial intelligence and high-powered programs like IBM’s ROSS and JPMorgan’s COIN. These programs can read 360,000 hours worth of documents in just a few seconds. This quick and low-cost process is pushing traditional legal firms to reduce their prices or innovate.
Property registry is one of the most significant challenges the legal profession faces. In countries like Honduras, land registry officials have a history of altering documents to take land illegally. Similar issues have arisen in the Brazilian Amazon and southern Chile. These challenges have pushed countries like Honduras to test a land registry system backed by the blockchain so that no one can manipulate the database. The country of Georgia is testing a similar program.
Paper records and digital files can be tampered with, destroyed or lost. Not so with the blockchain, which allows for secure records of every transaction or payment.