Blockchain & the “Uberization” of Law: The Transcript
We’re excited to announce that the full transcript for our webinar on blockchain and the Uberization of law is now available for your perusal.
A huge thank you to Dr. Charis Savvides, Partner at Stelios Americanos & Co LLC in Nicosia, for sharing his knowledge with us on all-things blockchain and its application to the tax, legal and financial services world.
Please feel free to check out the transcript in its entirety below.
For now, here are some the event’s main questions and highlights!
For the layman, what exactly is blockchain technology? How can one best understand this technology to properly advise clients on its benefits and uses?
Charis Savvides: “Let me say in a few words, as lawyer, how I understand blockchain technology. It is not the official definition; it’s not the terminology. And believe me, you don't need that. We will not become IT all of us, we will not become programmers. We don't really care how it works from a technical point of view because if we really cared how it works from a technical point of view, we would have the same interest to know how the Internet works. Obviously, we don't care how Internet works; it's enough for us to get the results. So the way that I understand, as a lawyer, blockchain technology, it’s a technology that gives me the opportunity for information to be uploaded on a blockchain platform and start having this journey to reach the recipient and go further and further. Anything that is related to this information and is being shared by participants is being recorded and it is immutable, nobody deletes anything, he can just add things.”
How do you see blockchain applying to the legal field, the financial field and to the tax field? How do you see blockchain fitting into these industries and its application to these industries?
Charis Savvides: “I can tell you, for example, what's happening now with e-invoicing. You know how the practice works now in terms of the invoice that the seller issues and sends to the buyer asking to get paid. To add more participants in this transaction, let's say, for example, that I provided legal services and I charge my client for these services and I issue the invoice. If I make this invoice unique in the sense that, if I pass this invoice from blockchain platform and I manage to give this invoice a unique fingerprint, it means that this invoice starts receiving digital information on it, starting from the date of issuance, the day that the recipient receives the invoice, starts recording the days when the invoice should be paid, if the recipient is part of or receives factoring services from the bank, then the bank can also trace the history of this unique invoice. So you have the bank, on the other side, monitoring that there is not a duplication of invoices. So then you boost the transparency, you boost the confidence of the bank even to lend money, to do whatever they usually do for their clients. In terms of the tax authorities, they know from the very first moment that this invoice came to life, how much they get paid and, if this invoice is to be cancelled for any reason later on, this also is going to be recorded in the history of this unique invoice. So you see how many people can actually participate in this sharing of information about a single event.”
How can blockchain be used to build trust between clients and certain and legal service providers?
Charis Savvides: “Blockchain is the technology that satisfies three things. The first thing is that it’s based on transparency, the fact that whatever information you upload on the blockchain platform is recorded and is immutable, it gives the transparency and the confidence for the participants that they can monitor the flow of information. So it satisfies the first element, transparency, and it satisfies, at the same time, trust between the participants.”
“Apart from these, there are two other elements that technology satisfies…The one is called time and the other one cost. History shows that there is no technology that can survive in the market if it does not minimize time and cost. So, from what I told you before, it is clear that blockchain technology is a very precious tool for all of us to skip intermediaries, skip middlemen, when we want to communicate with somebody else and, at the same time, we minimize the cost. Probably this doesn't always sound very good for people because people connect it with unemployment, people are going to lose their jobs, etc. If that was the criteria for all of us to judge new technologies, it means that we would have never accepted Viber, Whatsapp or Skype because people in the telecommunications circle would lose their jobs. But this never happened, right? And we still all love having this free communication.”