Anyone with an eye on technology can't have failed to notice huge amounts of interest in relation to blockchain - the distributed ledger technology that many are describing as being as significant a development as the internet itself. If the internet provides near instant digital communication, blockchain provides near instant digital transfer of assets, and security of data movement.

Industry is undecided about the impact of blockchain technology: proponents claim that its reach is only going to grow. From cryptocurrencies, to smart meters registering production and consumption of electricity in a blockchain, to finance - with UK Government trialling blockchain technology to enable welfare recipients to track their payments.

As with all new technologies though, others are less enthusiastic - pointing out the limitations of the technology today in terms of scalability and energy consumption, as well as governance and identity issues that are hindering the usability of the technology.

But it is likely that blockchain technology is here to stay, and any application of the technology creates new legal challenges - around regulation, tax, contracts and more.

Fieldfisher is a leading provider of legal services to the tech sector and is at the cutting-edge of blockchain technology. In particular the firm is highly experienced in cryptocurrencies, proof of existence and smart-contracts, advising significant industry players and ensuring they have the law on their side when exploiting the many commercial opportunities that blockchain presents.

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