Crypto Impact Litigation

Why DLT Devs May Need to Take “Smart Contracts” to Court

CleanApp
CleanApp
Jul 16, 2018 · 4 min read

Debates On “Essence” of “Smart Contracts”

“What the heck is a smart contract, anyway?”

To Get Smart Contracts, You Must Engage Law

A small, but growing slice of the “smart contract” debate concerns whether “smart contracts” are even legal — and, if so, what that means, who gets to decide, and what’s next.

In Law, As In Life, Words Matter

Thinking instrumentally in terms of longer term development strategy, and in terms of actionable takeaways, “smart contract” a needlessly risky and dangerous term.

Taking “Smart Contracts” By Their Horns

(1) we can wait until many small disputes (e.g., such as when swindled investors start suing token mints and coin exchange) start percolating up different judicial dockets, globally, and we receive judge-made “common law” or “doctrinal/interpretive guidance;”

(2) we can wait until a high profile dispute arises between or within DLT platform development teams that changes the post-dispute paradigm in a material respect for the entire industry;

(3) we can wait for “negotiated rulemaking”-type work product from venues like Stanford’s Center for Blockchain Research or other inter-DLT think tanks;

(4) we can make the law we want to be adopted;

(5) etc.

Crypto Impact Litigation?

The on-the-ground reality of crypto crowdsourcing is changing so rapidly that we might need to revisit our own legal exposure; at that point, it might be worthwhile to sue or pursue other direct legal risk mitigation strategies.

And if crews are considering going to court on home turf to start getting judicial clarity on the meaning of “smart contract” in light of existing precedent —then you should see the situation is pretty dire. Before it gets better, unfortunately, it will get a lot worse.

Crypto Law Review

A journal pushing the bounds of our legal imaginaries, on-chain, off-chain, and against the chain.

CleanApp

Written by

CleanApp

Small NGO with a big patent urging BigTech & Crypto to enable trash/hazard reporting & open source data. "The Wi-Fi & Bluetooth of TrashTech" - cleanapp.io.

Crypto Law Review

A journal pushing the bounds of our legal imaginaries, on-chain, off-chain, and against the chain.