The Retail Revolution will be decentralised – Blockchain and Smart Contracts

The Retail Revolution will be decentralised – Blockchain and Smart Contracts

DWF explains how blockchain has the potential to disrupt every industry including retail

From adopting new technology to driving down costs, offering new delivery models and giving customers more for less, retailers are faced with an unprecedented pace of change. Hailed as the biggest innovation since the internet, blockchain has the potential to entirely disrupt traditional business models by allowing decentralised data storage at minimal costs. This allows the usage of digital tokens in multiple ways: for exchanges, for rewards, for information and more.

Blockchain is a digital decentralised database, where the data is chronologically saved and once inputted cannot be amended. The technology behind blockchain (which is used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin) allows transactional information to be stored, traced and traded securely and privately between multiple users who are all connected to that blockchain network without the need for intermediaries such as banks and lawyers.

Contained within each “block” of data can be “smart contracts”, namely computer code, which can in pre-agreed scenarios trigger events such as payment of compensation or damages without the need for human involvement. Blockchain enables products to come with a ‘virtual warranty wallet’ which can be built on blockchain. It eliminates the need to prove the date of purchase and the product’s origin/ownership trail – making a claim against a warranty more simple and convenient.

So blockchain technology appears to be here to stay, but from a legal perspective where is it located? How do we govern and tax entities that exist solely in cyberspace and can a computer code in a smart contract really determine issues of fairness? With GDPR now here, how can privacy be protected on an open system? Will we all become “data controllers”?

Blockchain is the virtual infrastructure that will change the way we work, which, whilst a fundamentally simple idea, will present a range of legal complexities for business.

Watch our 6 minute animation to find out how blockchain works and what it means for your business: