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 – the price of bitcoin has been all over the map. It hit an all-time high of $19,343.04 on December 16, 2017. We’re not sure if our friend cashed out, but we suspect he is still holding on to his “stash” of bitcoins. As of May 6, 2018, one bitcoin is worth $9,901. That’s quite a drop in less than six months.
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 of last year, 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.