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Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) like the blockchain have brought about an exciting new chapter in the modern digital economy. Here are just a few examples of how:
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are no longer on the fringe of the online ecosystem. Once loaded into a digital wallet, you can use Bitcoin to top-up your Starbucks card, donate to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), or even purchase handmade soaps from Lush Cosmetics!
In addition to enabling cryptocurrencies, DLTs allow non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to thrive. NFTs can be used to represent a wide range of digital assets to include audiovisual files, music recordings, GIFs, documents, and memes. Using DLT, each NFT is certifiably unique, and can be digitally tracked as and when it is sold, bought, and resold again. You can read more about NFTs in our article, Non-Fungible Tokens: From Cryptokitties to Smart Contracts.
Thanks to smart contract technology, certain actions can now be performed, controlled or documented automatically, according to the terms of a contract. The inherently secure and decentralised nature of DLT, combined with the automated quality of a smart contract makes it a particularly attractive proposition for sectors which rely on secure transactions, including insurance, health, and real estate. You can read more about smart contracts in our article, A Legal ‘Rubber Stamp’ for Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts.
Clearly, DLT and cryptoassets are not only interesting from a technological perspective, but valuable from a commercial one. However, as with any innovation, the applicable laws and business models are subject to rapid change and development as the market matures.
To make the most of the potential these technologies offer, you need support from advisers who understand your challenges, and know how to help you turn them into opportunities. DAC Beachcroft’s team of blockchain and cryptoasset specialists bring together legal expertise from a variety of practice areas, including commercial technology, financial services regulatory, data protection, intellectual property, and digital media.
Tim Ryan Alistair Cooper Kelsey Farish
Jonathan Brogden Imogen Jones