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Blockchain Technology

January 4, 2017 | Posted In Internet Law |

The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society’s World Economic Forum recently predicted that 10 percent of gross domestic product will be stored on blockchains or blockchain-related technology by the year 2025. Blockchain technology is a ledger system that allows for the transfer of electronic cash by way of online payments without the need for financial institutions. 

As blockchain technology continues to evolve beyond the exchange of digital currency, companies worldwide have announced their launch of services based on this technology for a transfer of many different types of information.

  • IBM: IBM is developing blockchain technology for business which involves a permissioned network without the need for cryptocurrency.
  • Overstock.com: Overstock.com was one of the first major retailers to accept digital currency by way of Bitcoin on their website. Overstock.com is also approved to issue stock through Bitcoin blockchain.  After Overstock.com lead the way, other major companies announced the acceptance of Bitcoin blockchain including Microsoft, Dell and Expedia.  Citibank is even exploring the option of their own digital currency called the Citicoin.
  • Blockchain Consortium: Forbes announced in November of 2016, that financial institutions in a blockchain consortium expressed a desire to invest $59 million in blockchain technology, perhaps leading to a universal system in banking.
  • U.S. Postal Service: Governmental offices such as the United States Postal Service are reviewing usages for blockchain technology to streamline ecommerce and access for customs and payment information. Identity services

Benefits Blockchain Technology

Although the list of benefits continues to evolve as more companies begin to embrace blockchain technology, the list of benefits to both small and large companies is impressive including:

  • Lower costs: Blockchain costs only a fraction of the fees typically charged by financial institutions.
  • Speed: Transactions are completed in minutes instead of the days or weeks of typical banking transactions.
  • Privacy: Individual names, addresses, credit card numbers and other personal information are not exchanged to complete a blockchain technology.

Security Concerns Surrounding Blockchain

As with any technology, there are always security concerns.  For example, in August of 2016, hackers stole 72 million worth of bitcoin from accounts associated with a Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange.  Earlier that summer, in June of 2016, 55 million of ether, another form of digital currency, were stolen through a smart contract executed on the Ethereum network. 

This did not come as a surprise after research presented by both Kaspersky and Interpol in early 2015, demonstrated how blockchain cryptocurrencies can be hacked with arbitrary data.  It stands to reason that as more companies launch blockchain technology based services, more individuals will find a way to hack the system and create data breaches.

Contact a New Jersey Data Breach Attorney

If you are investigated or charged with blockchain hacking or other forms of data breaches, the consequences are extremely serious.  You need a team of attorneys that understand this evolving technology and the consequences that follow a conviction.  The data breach lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. are familiar with blockchain technology, as well as other types of data breaches and can strategize a defense to reduce or even dismiss any charges that may be filed against you. Call today to speak to one of our attorneys and begin to prepare your defense.

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