As traditional models of success are evolving in nearly every sector of industry, Don Tapsoctt, CEO of the Tapscott Group, opened the 2017 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting with a discussion centered on blockchain.

Tapscott has authored more than 15 books including Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Paradigm Shift and his most recent, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Underlying Bitcoin is Changing Business. Tapscott was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2015.

Tapscott noted that blockchain represents the second era of the internet. And implementing this technology, we have an opportunity to create change improving people’s lives, making business operate more efficiently and build a stronger, more stable organization.

During the keynote, he emphasized that blockchain is the biggest thing for corporate counsel in the next decade and that this is the biggest innovation in computer science in more than a generation. To get there, one must understand blockchain and Tapscott mentioned the Blockchain Research Institute, founded by Tapscott and his son, Alex, as a resource for organizations to join and learn more.

Tapscott walked through eight of the multiple business models that benefit in this space for the massive audience of legal professionals. The eight he walked through are listed below.

  • Blockchain Cooperatives (e.g. Uber, airbnb)
  • The Rights Creators (music, movies, journalists, scientists)
  • The Re-Intermediators (this is the flip side of the disintermediators; think of how travel is booked, reservations at restaurants)
  • The Blockchain Supply Chain (provides security, tracking)
  • Animating the Physical World (the rise of machine currency)
  • The Platform Builders (old: initial public offerings; new: initial token offerings (ITO) – this delivers opportunities for funds faster, more secure and less costly)
  • The Data Partners (enable people to own and monetize their data and protect their privacy; currently the virtual “you” is owned by intermediaries and they benefit from information)
  • The New Public Sector (deliver public value, transparency, trust)

To connect it all back to his audience at the ACC annual meeting, Tapscott delivered a list of several areas corporate counsel should explore leveraging blockchain technology within their organizations to be viewed as leaders and employing the latest technology to help the business advance. Those included:

  • Smart contracts
  • Harness the power of initial coin offerings (ICO or ITO)
  • Protect intellectual property
  • Patent opportunities
  • Government policy and regulation
  • Leadership for new business models
  • Personal development and opportunities

Tapscott concluded noting this is a new paradigm that can create uncertainty and leadership crisis. Yet, there is an opportunity to embrace the new.

To learn more about Don Tapsoctt and his multiple books, visit dontapscott.com.