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Using Blockchain for Commercial Contracts: Permissioned vs. Permissionless, Control, Amendments, Security, Transparency

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 Thursday, June 18, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will examine recent trends in use of blockchain in commercial contracts. The panel will focus on unique features that create advantages to the use of blockchain, including limitation on alterations of the terms, decentralization, and security, as well as describing how things can go wrong with blockchain.


While blockchain has continued to be aggressively applied to supply chain contracts, use throughout commercial contracts has grown. To define risk allocation between parties, a drafter will have to determine whether the blockchain is permissioned or permissionless. That determination will assist the parties if a default later occurs. Properly defining those terms would establish the relative liability between parties.

Further, the attorneys creating the arrangements that include blockchain must address issues related to control and plan to handle amendments. Additionally, counsel will need formulations for security and transparency as part of a viable smart contract. Proper blockchain agreements will address the issues of choice of law, forum and venue, and the problem of compliance with local laws.

Listen as our authoritative panel provides an overview of the most critical issues related to blockchain for commercial contracts and discusses the significant legal risks for entities to consider before implementation.



  1. Overview
    1. Blockchain vs. smart contract
    2. Circumstances when not to use
  2. Permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains
  3. Control
  4. Amendments
  5. Security
  6. Transparency
  7. Choice of law, forum, and venue
  8. Best practices


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • How can blockchain be utilized in commercial contracts, and what circumstances would limit its use?
  • What differences exist in permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains, and what are the appropriate circumstances for the use of each form?
  • How can blockchain handle issues of control?
  • What is necessary to amend a smart contract?
  • How best to draft provisions related to security and transparency


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

Radcliffe, Mark
Mark F. Radcliffe

DLA Piper

Mr. Radcliffe's practice is split evenly between corporate securities (particularly venture capital transactions)...  |  Read More

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