Excerpt: Several years ago, a Canadian attorney and good friend of ours, invested $10,000 in bitcoin.
Clearly, he is a lot smarter than us. We can’t even imagine the extent of his profit – several days
before we started to write this article, bitcoin hit an all-time high of $4,991.66 on September 2,
2017. It is down slightly as we write, but our friend certainly hit a jackpot.
We become aware of bitcoin wallets a few years ago, as husbands (mostly) began to hide assets
from their soon-to- be ex-wives in those wallets. And then came a barrage of ransomware
attacks. Law firm after law firm was paying the ransom ($300-$500 in the early days and $1500-
$3000 today). The cybercriminals usually want the ransom in bitcoin. To our amazement, there
are now bitcoin ATMs available in local gas stations and laundromats complete with posted
instructions on creating a bitcoin wallet for the Bitcoin novice.
In July, there were reports of a Citrix UK study which found that a third of UK companies were
stockpiling digital currency, mostly in bitcoins, to pay the ransom (an average of approximately
$176,000) if they became victims of a ransomware attack.
At the 2017 ILTACON conference, artificial intelligence wasn’t quite kicked to the curb, but the
buzz around blockchain became very loud indeed. In the last several months, it has become
increasingly clear that blockchain is a transformative technology that is going to make
substantial changes in the practice of law.