When people first get interested in Bitcoin, it is usually as an investment and, possibly, as an alternative to nation-state monies of the world. It takes time and study but you eventually come to realize that there is a lot more potential to this technology. It all comes down to the Blockchain, which is the information storage and sharing technology that gives Bitcoin its value at all. And this ledger-based system – which belongs at once to everyone and no one – has a multiplicity of uses that could potentially eat into the exclusive domain of what are today considered within the exclusive domain of public law. 

Like what? Like property titles. Like marriage announcements. Like contracts between multiple parties that require strict adherence to terms. Once you begin to let your imagination run wild, you begin to see the potential of an entire legal system that could gradually emerge in the digital cloud, one that could displace traditional functions of the nation-state itself. 

Of course that seems a bit like science fiction, which, if possible, is surely decades or longer away. Or maybe not. According to many experts in Blockchain technologies, the advantages are so palpable as to make immediate applications advantageous to many institutions right now. 

A pioneer currently working on such applications is Caitlin Long, who will be speaking at FEEcon later this year. In this brief presentation, she discusses the promise and prospect of distributed ledgers to change the way we think of contracts and property titles. 

 

This article originally appeared on FEE.org.