Blockchains and Smart Contracts: A Threat for the Legal Industry?

  • Bernhard WaltlEmail author
  • Christian Sillaber
  • Ulrich Gallersdörfer
  • Florian Matthes


Blockchain, as a distributed data structure ensuring trust and establishing consensus among participants that do not know and potentially do not trust each other, is expected to change businesses in many different areas. One of these areas is the legal industry. How blockchain can potentially disrupt the legal industry is in the focus of this chapter. We differentiate three pillars of legal systems, namely (i) intermediaries and notary services; (ii) courts, judges, and trials; and (iii) companies and the financial market. We explore potential disruptions for each of them. We describe multiple scenarios which allow us to elaborate on the capabilities but also the limitations of blockchain technology.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Waltl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Sillaber
    • 2
  • Ulrich Gallersdörfer
    • 1
  • Florian Matthes
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Engineering for Business Information Systems, Department of InformaticsTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Computer ScienceUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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