In the news and in banner ads all over your social media pages we are inundated with the ups and downs of cryptocurrency. From Bitcoin to Dogecoin to Ethereum to XRP and NFTs the number of options to expose yourself to are many. But the real story is where blockchain technology (the engine that drives cryptocurrency) will be utilized in things we do every day and how that will disrupt many professions and change the way we live in the world. Our dependence upon institutions such as governments, banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and commodity markets to create trust in our financial transactions and secure wealth have been a backbone on which modern global society has been built. However, if we instead develop complete transactional transparency by creating permanent records of everything we have promised and has been promised to us via an unquestionable ledger (which is the purpose of and driver behind blockchain technology), we no longer need institutions to create the trust required to feel secure.

When I consult with my clients who ask for my expertise and advice, I ask myself the following question every time: “Will this action/transaction create trust or destroy it?” This simple question may seem difficult for some to understand and/or dependent on whose trust I am considering, however, I have ultimately found it to have only one answer every time I ask it. The promise of blockchain technology definitively answers this question in the eyes of the balance sheet ledger. There is only one answer to the question of ownership goods/services being sold, and there is only one answer to the question of when title shall pass via payment for those goods/services.

In speaking with my clients and colleagues about blockchain technology, I have found they generally end up in one of three camps: (i) those that run to the promise of decentralized block chain technology creating social parity and dismantling the oppressive institutions; (ii) those that fear the loss of stability and protection of large institutions controlling our interpersonal transactions; or (iii) those that choose being oblivious to the whole concept and how it might impact their lives. As an attorney I do not make a judgement between the first two camps, but I feel strongly that I cannot end up in the third because the promise of utilizing blockchain technology to protect our identity, handle cross border transactions, effectively transfer risk through the supply chain, and ultimately create smart contracts to optimize the expense and complexity of all of the transactions we engage in each day is already happening.

Whether the block chain is “controlled” by institutions or decentralizes certain areas of our lives is not as important as the fact it will change our world. The analogy for blockchain technology I most often hear is the internet. For those of us old enough to remember life before the internet, we also remember the promise of the first “.com bubble”, where we were also assured that the internet would change everything. Yet many of those changes did not come to pass in the late 1990s as predicted, but they all have come to pass now. The blockchain technology’s power to change has been whispered about for years, but we are now seeing an acceleration of acceptance and adaptation which suggests this change will not take another 30 years to be realized.

As a counselor to my clients, I am not Henny Penny suggesting the sky is falling, but I do believe that the weather is changing and if we do not attempt to predict the wind, we are not being of service to our clients. How will blockchain technology affect you as a business leader? Will it challenge your value proposition or open new avenues to reach your customer? Will it allow the world to compete with you in your back yard or allow you to compete in new markets? The answers depend on your understanding of your situation and Goosmann Law firm is expending our time and resources to aid and assist you and your business through these important changes. We welcome your questions and will engage your understanding of what you do to look for opportunity and peril as life inevitably becomes both simpler and more complex.

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