Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is currently one of the most talked about technologies. Heralded as a 'game changer', this technology is disrupting a wide range of industries.
Interest has increased tremendously over the past few years: venture capital investment and the number of blockchain-related patent applications are rising and more and more businesses are moving from testing minimal viable products to considering larger scale live deployments or investing heavily in order to develop their own proprietary blockchain software.
The key features of blockchain technology, such as the ability to record and store information on distributed databases, immutability and the ability to cut out intermediaries makes them attractive for industries as wide-ranging as financial services (e.g. assisting with post-trade reporting) to logistics (e.g. streamlining supply chain solutions by allowing multiple stakeholders to access the same database to track information on goods).
However, the technology is still in its infancy and so it's important to understand both the technical and legal issues so project sponsors can ask the right questions and make informed decisions.
At Bird & Bird, we've been working with suppliers and customers of blockchain technologies and cryptoassets for years advising on issues such as technology contracts, open source software exploitation, disputes and ICOs. We're really excited about the future of blockchain and how we can help clients apply its potential to change their industry for the better.
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An overview of some of the basics of blockchain, including how a blockchain transaction works, using the bitcoin blockchain network as an example and an explanation of commonly used terminology such as "wallets" and "nodes".
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