The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has launched a Legal Industry Working Group that includes major law firms, law schools and academic institutions. Some 14 law firms and academic institutions have joined the EEA's group to establish the legal status of smart contracts within industrial uses and provide much-needed guidance on the exploding blockchain token sector.

New members joining the EEA and Legal Industry Working Group includeCooley,Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Jones Day,Latham & Watkins, Morrison & Foerster, Perkins Coie,Shearman & Sterling, Cardozo Law School, Duke Center on Law & Technology, and the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Existing EEA members joining the EEA Legal Industry Working Group includeBNY Mellon, ConsenSys, ING, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"We are thrilled to see robust interest in blockchain technology by forward-looking law firms and institutions," said Aaron Wright, Chair of the EEA Legal Industry Working Group, Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Cardozo Law School's Blockchain Project, and co-founder of the smart contract project OpenLaw, "Lawyers are poised to serve as the catalysts for blockchain technology, and the Legal Working Group will serve as a neutral space to explore blockchain-based legal technology, develop standards for 'smart' legal agreements, support emerging enterprise use cases, and tackle important policy issues raised by this new impactful technology."

The EEA is an industry-supported non-profit established to build, promote and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, open standards, and open source reference architectures. Formed earlier this year, the EEA is helping to evolve Ethereum into an enterprise-grade technology, providing research and development in a range of areas, including privacy, confidentiality, scalability, and security. It is also investigating hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks as well as industry-specific application layer working groups.