Dynamic contract, legal tech start-up, Clause.io, along with Big Four accountants EY and Deloitte, have signed up with one of the world’s leading commercial blockchain projects, Hyperledger.
Meanwhile Clause.io and Deloitte have also joined up simultaneously with another blockchain group, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). Both blockchain groups also announced a raft of other businesses, including banks, that would be making use of one or both of the platforms as members of the consortia.
The parallel announcements are part of a move by Clause to develop the capabilities of their legal tech company which is pioneering the use of their version of smart contracts that can connect to the outside world and interact with data from IoT devices and other sources.
Clause.io co-founder, Peter Hunn, said of the Hyperledger link-up: ‘The mission of Clause is to transition the world of legal contracting from a largely unintegrated static, paper-based, process to an integrated component of the increasingly data-driven business world.’
‘Distributed ledger technology is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the future of legal contracting. Being the only member in contract lifecycle management enables Clause to uniquely contribute to the goals of Hyperledger by bringing expertise and code that will advance distributed ledger technology in new directions.’
In an interview with Artificial Lawyer, Hunn and co-founder Houman Shadab, added: ‘We joined the consortia as blockchain/distributed ledger technology will become part of the operation and administration of many industries, and an important piece of the future of contracting. It is therefore crucial that legal contracts begin to integrate blockchain, and distributed ledger technology more generally. As paper is replaced, contracts will have to integrate these technologies. ‘
They also stressed that their involvement would help promote the development of their respective technologies and help contribute to their codebases.
Hunn also noted that they already have Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum integrations, but this new step will help them to engage with the community, and help to drive the technology so that it can be used effectively in legal contracts and Contract Lifecycle Management.
Meanwhile, Eric Piscini, Global Blockchain Leader, Deloitte Consulting, said: ‘As we are growing our blockchain activities and teams across the globe, the choice to join Hyperledger was clear.’
While, Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, said: ‘We are delighted to join this project as Hyperledger will empower businesses to execute smart contracts and transact securely across the enterprise.’
The announcement comes as the battle to establish global norms for the use of blockchain technology around the world continues. However, with every expansion of those using certain platforms the odds of certain systems coming out as the preferred format increase.
Hyperledger now has 142 members, a big increase since the project was announced with 30 members in February of 2016. While the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance has expanded dramatically announcing 86 new members today, building on more than 30 others at its launch.