Neutrals Need to “Speak Tech” to Resolve Disputes Involving Smart Contracts
October 1, 2019
By Daniel B. Garrie
Blockchain technology is on the rise. Whether in currency, supply chain, real estate, energy or even democracy, blockchains will soon permeate most business and consumer transactions. For every action, however, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the legal community, the arrival and increasing saturation of this new technology will result in an onslaught of new conflicts and litigation. It is a matter of when, not if, blockchain-related disputes will begin to heavily populate the ADR dockets. Will neutrals be ready to handle these cases?
According to the Harvard Business Review, “blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.” (Iansiti, M., & Lakhani, K. R. (2017). The truth about blockchain. Harvard Business Review, 95(1), 118-127.) Smart contracts are computer programs executed by a network of mutually distrusting nodes, without the arbitration of a trusted authority.
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