Blockchain

Blockchain technology is rapidly transforming the way digital transactions are conducted over computer networks. Blockchain is a distributed public ledger of digital transactions that are copied across numerous computers (nodes) in a decentralized peer-to-peer network. The distributed ledger is composed of a chain of sequenced immutable transaction records structured as cryptographically hash-linked blocks. Owners record transactions by digitally signing the transactions using a public-private crytographical key pairing which then, through a computer application, broadcasts the transactions across the peer-to-peer network. A miner associated to one of the network nodes accepts and bundles the transactions in a block and adds the block to the copy of the distributed ledger at its node. The miner further broadcasts the block for recording in the copies of the distributed ledger at the other network nodes. A crytographical hash of the block is generated to represent and link each previous block of the transaction, ensuring that a block in the transaction chain cannot be altered. 

Smart contracts, which are programs stored on the nodes of the decentralized blockchain network, define rules for performing and recording a transaction in the distributed public ledger and form the foundation for decentralized blockchain applications.  Smart contracts tie the recording of a transaction to the payment of cryptocurrency (tokens) offered by the vendor of the decentralized application to facilitate the transaction. Well-known blockchain applications are Bitcoin and the Ethereum blockchain, which are platforms for decentralized cryptocurrency.  Such applications are commonly funded by initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales, where a percentage of the newly issued cryptocurrency for the application is sold as an ownership interest to investors in exchange for legal tender.

Blockchain technology encompasses multiple software and hardware engineering fields, such as database management, cryptosecurity and related hashing techniques, computer networking, distributed computing, consensus algorithms, and internet applications. Our attorneys leverage their expertise to protect blockchain innovations in several fields, including:

  • Attestation and authentication
  • Bitcoin protocols
  • Consensus technologies
  • Cryptocurrency and digital tokens
  • Decentralized apps (dapps)
  • Ethereum protocols
  • Gaming and eSports
  • Hyperledger protocols
  • Peer-to-peer networks
  • Smart contracts (i.e., rules-based contracts)

We work with established companies, start-ups, venture capitalists, and investors to develop intellectual property protection strategies for this continuously evolving technology. We manage the IP portfolios for blockchain companies, including companies that have created crypto-token platforms to be used in ICOs.

We also remain active in the blockchain community by membership in blockchain-affiliated organizations, participating in panel discussions on blockchain-related topics, and making presentations on legal issues involving blockchain.
 

Blockchain
Overview

Blockchain technology is rapidly transforming the way digital transactions are conducted over computer networks. Blockchain is a distributed public ledger of digital transactions that are copied across numerous computers (nodes) in a decentralized peer-to-peer network. The distributed ledger is composed of a chain of sequenced immutable transaction records structured as cryptographically hash-linked blocks. Owners record transactions by digitally signing the transactions using a public-private crytographical key pairing which then, through a computer application, broadcasts the transactions across the peer-to-peer network. A miner associated to one of the network nodes accepts and bundles the transactions in a block and adds the block to the copy of the distributed ledger at its node. The miner further broadcasts the block for recording in the copies of the distributed ledger at the other network nodes. A crytographical hash of the block is generated to represent and link each previous block of the transaction, ensuring that a block in the transaction chain cannot be altered. 

Smart contracts, which are programs stored on the nodes of the decentralized blockchain network, define rules for performing and recording a transaction in the distributed public ledger and form the foundation for decentralized blockchain applications.  Smart contracts tie the recording of a transaction to the payment of cryptocurrency (tokens) offered by the vendor of the decentralized application to facilitate the transaction. Well-known blockchain applications are Bitcoin and the Ethereum blockchain, which are platforms for decentralized cryptocurrency.  Such applications are commonly funded by initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token sales, where a percentage of the newly issued cryptocurrency for the application is sold as an ownership interest to investors in exchange for legal tender.

Blockchain technology encompasses multiple software and hardware engineering fields, such as database management, cryptosecurity and related hashing techniques, computer networking, distributed computing, consensus algorithms, and internet applications. Our attorneys leverage their expertise to protect blockchain innovations in several fields, including:

  • Attestation and authentication
  • Bitcoin protocols
  • Consensus technologies
  • Cryptocurrency and digital tokens
  • Decentralized apps (dapps)
  • Ethereum protocols
  • Gaming and eSports
  • Hyperledger protocols
  • Peer-to-peer networks
  • Smart contracts (i.e., rules-based contracts)

We work with established companies, start-ups, venture capitalists, and investors to develop intellectual property protection strategies for this continuously evolving technology. We manage the IP portfolios for blockchain companies, including companies that have created crypto-token platforms to be used in ICOs.

We also remain active in the blockchain community by membership in blockchain-affiliated organizations, participating in panel discussions on blockchain-related topics, and making presentations on legal issues involving blockchain.
 

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