Blockchain technology — most commonly known as the underlying technology of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin — is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology that enables the decentralized, self-verifying (aka "trustless") tracking and trading of virtually anything of value.
The technology has the potential to revolutionize business processes across many industries because it promises a more efficient, secure and transparent mechanism for storing, tracking, transferring and verifying assets and information. As private businesses and governments explore and adopt blockchain technology use cases, current legal and regulatory frameworks across many disciplines will be tested, and new frameworks may be necessary.
Pepper Hamilton is working with industry experts and clients to understand the technology and the use cases and to navigate legal issues and the potential need for new legal frameworks to support the technology and use cases. Pepper also represents blockchain companies in connection with regulatory matters concerning digital assets and cryptocurrencies. The firm is a member of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, which advocates, guides and promotes comprehensive adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technology across global financial markets, and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which connects Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. The firm also is a member of the R3 Legal Center of Excellence(LCoE), which is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem to develop Corda, their open-source blockchain platform which was developed in close collaboration with a vast network of financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies. The firm is a member of the DCARPE™ Alliance, an all-inclusive and nonprofit organization seeking to foster the standardization and interoperability of accounting, audit and financial reporting using the Auditchain protocol.
Our lawyers have the technical know-how and experience to help clients navigate the business and legal issues involving blockchain technology and other variants of peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology, such as smart contract platforms.