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What is Blockchain and What are the Legal Challenges?

If you are not sure what blockchain is, you’re not alone. 

This technology only emerged over 10 years ago from a paper "Bitcoin:  A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" written by Satoshi Nakamoto (or a person or persons using a pseudonym… the mystery continues).  Is it all about Bitcoin?  No.  It’s more than all the cryptocurrencies. 

Like many technologies, it was invented to solve one problem and others saw its potential for use elsewhere.

Blockchain: An Introduction

Matheson's Technology and Innovation Group have prepared an interactive  Introduction to Blockchain publication to answer key questions such as:

  • What is Blockchain?
  • What is a Block? 
  • What types of Blockchain are there?
  • How do you set up a Blockchain?

What are the Uses for Blockchain?

Our publication sets out a number of examples of how Blockchain is being used, or new projects that are underway, including:

  • eDemocracy;
  • Transportation
  • European Blockchain Services Infrastructure
  • Blockchain and healthcare
  • Digital asset management and digital rights management
  • Blockchain and supply chain management
  • Smart Contracts
  • Blockchain and education
  • Travel, including the Known Traveller Digital Identity project.

What are the Legal Challenges?

As with all new technologies, new legal challenges emerge that need to be addressed and solved, including:

  • Considerations around jurisdiction
  • Blockchain and cyber-security
  • NFTs and Intellectual Property
  • The legal status of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations
  • Blockchain and data privacy
  • Smart contacts
  • Regulating digital assets

As with all technology, trust is key. 

Trust comes with greater global awareness (without the hype and horror stories), actively delivering on the promise of a greener future, and solving the legal challenges head-on. 

If you would like to discuss these legal issues arising out of this publication, please get in touch with Anne-Marie Bohan, Rory O’Keeffe or your usual Matheson Technology & Innovation Group contact.