Aussie law firm executes blockchain-based payment guarantee

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Australian law firm Piper Alderman has executed a blockchain-based payment guarantee in a commercial contract.

The guarantee was performed using the Lygon platform.

After joining forces in July 2019 to progress work on a blockchain-based bank guarantee platform, ANZ bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and Westpac announced, alongside IBM and shopping centre company Scentre Group, the formation of Lygon.

In February, Lygon announced minting the industry’s first standardised digital bank guarantee.

Since then, the company touted its platform has “rapidly expanded its reach and services to other sectors in Australia to meet the demand for our platform”.

Read also: Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

With Piper Alderman, Lygon claims to have executed the first payment guarantee to be used commercially in the legal services industry.

“It is also the first time blockchain has been used commercially by this industry too,” Lygon CEO Justin Amos said.

He said the rollout of a payment guarantee with Piper Alderman demonstrates how applicable Lygon’s core technology is for the legal services profession.

“The transformative nature of distributed ledger technology is only just beginning and I’m thrilled to be a small part of helping to modernise and improve legal practice,” Piper Alderman Partner Michael Bacina added.

“Paper based payment guarantees have always suffered from inefficiency and risk and the Lygon platform, with the support of major banks and IBM blockchain technology should help Piper Alderman and our client’s enjoy greater efficiency and security over guarantees.”

Asked why Piper Alderman picked blockchain, Bacina told ZDNet his firm considers blockchain systems to be designed with full cryptographic security and distributed data storage from the ground up. 

“This security-by-design gives an added layer of fraud prevention which is a revolutionary advantage over a siloed single source database,” he said. “It enables multiple parties to have greater access to the data they need with less friction and greater confidence in the auditability and truth of the data.

“We don’t need blockchain, we need innovation, which helps our clients while giving greater security and the Lygon solution creates a win-win-win for guarantors, banks, and law firms with their platform.”

The Lygon platform runs on the IBM public cloud. It leverages the IBM Blockchain Platform, which is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain project from the Linux Foundation.

It was designed as a new piece of infrastructure by the group aimed at being “at the crossroads between finance and technology”.