Is your business ready for the blockchain revolution?

Law Firms Digital Assets
13 December 2018

Is your business ready for the blockchain revolution?

Today’s world is increasingly digital. We are living in a time of constant change – not least when it comes to consumer expectations - and with this change comes new challenges that require new ways of working. Let’s face it, our communications, media, entertainment and business interactions are increasingly paperless, so why should will writing and estate planning be any different?

But, despite the pace of transformation, many in the industry remain reluctant to adapt; even though new solutions already exist to help will writers and lawyers thrive in this brave new world.

Nevertheless, with the creation and consumption of data showing no signs of slowing down, we simply cannot ignore the digital revolution.

The choice for law firms and will-writers is clear: get on board now or quickly fall behind.

Welcome to the blockchain revolution

Imagine a world where it is possible to transfer assets and eliminate contractual disputes? To securely and confidentially establish trust between two parties with built-in accountability. Well, that world is already here. And it’s powered by blockchain.

Web 3.0 - otherwise known as the new internet - uses technology that is smarter and more intuitive. Where the next generation of applications and data are connected, and you don’t need a trusted third-party (e.g. a bank, lawyer or tech company) to ensure privacy and security.

As we come to the end of 2018, we are on the verge of Web 3.0 and only just beginning to grasp its full potential. However, what we do know is that blockchain will be crucial to this new era.

But what exactly is the blockchain?

The blockchain (also known as a distributed ledger), is a growing record of information. No centralised version exists. Instead, data is stored in blocks, and these records are duplicated thousands of times across a group of linked databases.

If anyone makes a change or adds a new block to the chain, everyone is notified, and all parties have to accept the change. So, once entered into the system, there is no possibility of records being altered or falsified, and this makes blockchain incorruptible by cybercriminals. It’s like two-factor authentication on a shared Google doc, but on a much grander scale.

Initially devised to help run bitcoin transactions, the world is now finding other potential uses for blockchain technology. Today it can be programmed to record, not just financial transactions, but almost anything of value.

Blockchain and estate planning

The fact blockchain is extraordinarily secure, even by bank standards, makes it attractive for storing information and documents in digital-vaults. But the possibilities are much more exciting than that.

You can send payments, create next-generation smart contracts, and digitally sign and store legal agreements in a highly secure manner. Blockchain also establishes the integrity of the documents, making verification easier. So it securely and confidentially creates trust between two parties with built-in accountability; while providing everyone with transparent access to the information they need.

For example, blockchain technology has the capability for blockchain to create a will which lists beneficiaries, assets, executors etc. And because of the public nature of blockchain, this will cannot be lost or changed. What’s more, beneficiaries and testators are represented by a crypto-address, protecting the privacy of everyone involved. As such, blockchain can be used to validate wills, eliminate disputes, and ensure the more efficient distribution of assets.

If that wasn’t enough, experts predict that blockchain will soon be able to help create real-time wills. By linking the technology with other forms of digital information (e.g. a marriage, death, birth or divorce), blockchain-enabled real-time wills could be automatically updated to reflect changing circumstances.

The end-to-end execution of a will to probate may not be here yet, but the reality of this idea is not far off. And the implications for the legal world are massive. So, for estate planners and will-writers, the potential disruption to the sector cannot be underestimated or ignored.

How far away is the Blockchain revolution?

Blockchain is not science fiction. This ground-breaking development is already starting to revolutionise the way our government and the legal system operates. For example, HM Land Registry is already exploring using the technology. Furthermore, the UK government is investing over £10 million to support blockchain projects.

Indeed, for anyone that wants to succeed in our digital age, it’s vital to embrace rather than run away from blockchain technology. Not least because the market is flooded with Generation Y – or Millennials – who are now between 20 and 35 years old and are the most powerful consumers in history. Their expectations and influence are unique, and you must be armed with the tools necessary to meet them.

How can you expect to win and keep customers if you don’t give them what they demand?

Start your digital revolution today

The truth is, we live in a time where we can no longer afford to be passive spectators when it comes to the evolution of technology.

To thrive, you must be aware of what is happening, create a culture of innovation, and use digitisation to your advantage. As Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

But you don’t have to do this alone. Every journey starts with a single step, and by finding a supplier that can deliver the technology you need, you can put your best foot forward and transform the way you service your clients.

A specialist provider when it comes to estate planning software and transformation, at Arken we understand the challenges will-writers and estate planners face when adopting new technology. So, we don’t just provide you with the very best digital tools; we also keep you informed and ahead of the curve.

The blockchain revolution is here. Together we can make sure you are ready for it.