The story of LegalThings starts in 2014. Our document engine MVP progressed into a workflow engine. As time progressed our clients got bigger and the processes more important. Manipulating data we stored could potentially influence lives.
As facilitators, we became the trusted third party. We realized that we shouldn't rely on trust alone. Adding layers of bureaucracy certainly might help, but it would kill productivity.
Clearly, we should do better. By employing blockchain technology we could and would. This is how the LegalThings One platform came into existence.
Our mission is to provide technology to fight the bureaucracy, fraud and nepotism that plague so many organizations, industries and governments. We believe that privacy and transparency are not mutually exclusive and are willing to prove it.
In workflow you can define rules and regulation by modeling them as business processes. These workflows are understandable by both humans and computers. Instead of running processes through a centralized system, we use the blockchain so each party can participate using their own node.
Business process models are expressed as deterministic extended finite state machines. This elementry automation model predates the current method of computing and is far less prone to errors. Only the sequence of events are stored and shared via the blockchain. The deterministic nature of the finite state machine means that even though all parties independently process the events, they'll all come to the same result.
The definitions of the workflows, as well as related information, form a Live Contract. Similar to Smart Contracts, Live Contracts provides a dynamic method for defining logic on the blockchain. However the purpose of a Live Contract is not to just determine state, but to actively instruct humans and computers about steps in a workflow.
Nodes hold and handle many workflows simultaneously. Since every workflow has an isolated chain, the node can spin up more VMs to handle bigger loads.
Each event is validated based on the rules and conditions defined in the workflow. Action that are not allowed will be rejected by all other participant.
Nodes will directly send event to each other, rahter than needing to broadcast it to the entire network. This reduces complexity and latency. An additional global blockchain is only used for anchoring.
Only the nodes of the participant have access to the private chain. If required by law, the entire workflow with all related data can be destroyed.
LegalThings One makes it easy to connect your own application to the blockchain, as each node expose a JSON REST API.
At the hearth of the application layer is the event service. It handles all incomming events, delegating further processing to the application services.
The application layer contains a number of services like the workflow manager designed to perform a specific task. Custom services may be added.
Decoupling ensures a stable system even in case of bad connectivity or a high load. The message queue is the communication layer for the private chain. Two simple services manage all inbound and outbound events.
Our global public blockchain is optimized for storing hashes. Each node indexes all hashes, so they can be easily verified.
Merin, one of the most innovative real estate parties in The Netherlands, uses LegalThings for end-to-end digitized real estate contract lifecycle management (CLM). By directly loading all static building data from LegalThings and linking other IT-systems, agreements are drafted in a matter of minutes.
LegalFling is a showcase for Live Contracts, demonstrating that an agreement doesn't have to be a 10 page document full of legal lingo that is drafted and enforced by lawyers.
Our showcase reached a global audience in days on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and all over the internet.