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Blockchain and Smart Contracts in Supply Chain Contracting and Management

Electronic Contracting and Enforceability; Choice of Law and Forum; Force Majeure Provisions; Impossibility of Performance

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss trends in the use of blockchain and smart contracts in the supply chain context and examine the legal issues, concerns, benefits and risks associated with its use.


Despite the cryptocurrency crashes of 2018, the use of blockchain continues to increase. Many large companies are embracing its use.

And one of the blockchain's most promising applications is to supply chain and inventory management. For instance, large retailers are investing in solutions to shore up food safety standards after crises such as 2018's E.coli outbreak. Using this method, anyone involved in the supply of certain products can trace individual items back to the source farm, using a tamper-proof distributed database.

Blockchains are also being deployed in the diamond industry to trace each gem back to its source, with the potential to eliminate diversion of conflict minerals into supply chains touted as ethical and to provide consumer assurance and bolster customer goodwill.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides an overview of the most critical issues related to blockchain for supply chain participants and discusses the significant legal risks for entities to consider before implementation, including the role of blockchain-based supply chain consortia and associated considerations.



  1. Overview
    1. Public/open/permissionless blockchains
    2. Private/closed/permission blockchains
  2. Smart contracts
  3. Blockchain and the supply chain
  4. Legal and practical issues
    1. Governance
    2. Verification
    3. Technological hurdles
    4. Electronic contracting
    5. Cybersecurity
    6. Choice of law, forum and venue
    7. Regulatory compliance
    8. Audits and record keeping
    9. UCC
    10. Confidentiality
    11. GDPR and other data privacy issues
    12. Litigation and discovery
    13. Quantum computing
    14. Force majeure provisions
    15. Blockchain consortia considerations
  5. Best practices


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • Though adoption of blockchain by participants in supply chains has many advantages, what are the essential legal and practical concerns?
  • What is an unforeseeable force majeure event in the blockchain or smart contract environment?
  • In smart contract situations, where technology failures may prevent performance by one or both parties, do common law force majeure or impossibility of performance doctrines apply?
  • Should an agreement contemplate a contingency to revert to a paper-based system in the event of a technology failure?
  • What legal issues arise with blockchain that are not present with more conventional means for transacting business?
  • What are some of the current and proposed uses for blockchain in the supply chain context?


Choy, Wai
Wai L. Choy

Proskauer Rose

Mr. Choy is a senior associate in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications group at the law firm of Proskauer...  |  Read More

Markey, Melissa
Melissa L. Markey, CISSP

Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman

Ms. Markey focuses her practice on developing practical, operationally focused cybersecurity, privacy and life sciences...  |  Read More

Rasmussen, Mark
Mark W. Rasmussen

Jones Day

Mr. Rasmussen is a seasoned litigator and investigator with more than a dozen years of experience representing clients...  |  Read More

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