Jur CEO on Advising San Marino on Their New Blockchain Law, Jur’s Smart Legal Contract Marketplace & Three Dispute Resolution Systems
Alessandro Palombo Founder and CEO of JUR with David Orban on Network Society Media
Network Society Ventures Founder David Orban sat down to chat with Jur CEO Alessandro Palombo about Jur and San Marino’s new blockchain law. Find out about Jur’s current status and new features and get Alessandro’s take on San Marino’s new blockchain law that he helped create as an advisor. Here is a transcript of the video.
David Orban: Hi Alessandro. Tell me about Jur.
Alessandro Palombo: First let me say thanks for this interview and for advising us from the beginning of this project. We do two things with Jur. One thing — we are like a WordPress for smart legal contracts. We are creating a marketplace where experts — without development skills — can build master templates for smart legal contracts. And users can answer easy questions in half an hour — as you would with RocketLawyer or LegalZoom for regular contracts — but Jur also sets up a smart legal contract that can ask for and accept payments in a stablecoin. So we can create a new level of trust in business relationships in an easy and affordable way by using decentralization.
So the smart contract marketplace is one component of the Jur ecosystem that we have been working on during the crypto-winter. We started with a different vision — mainly focused on dispute resolution, because we think this will be an important and necessary feature for the new blockchain economy.
Smart contracts are going to change everything, but they do need, in a lot of cases, an effective, affordable, and quick dispute resolution system. So we are the only project to provide legally binding arbitration on the blockchain. We have three different models of dispute resolution. The first is purely decentralized — I am proud to say we have an MVP that we developed on Ethereum and we are moving to VeChain. We are going to test it in cooperation with Universities and our community by this summer.
This is what we do. We have been working in the complex intersection of old legal systems and the new blockchain technology, applying the philosophy of decentralization to produce creative new solutions connecting 2.0 web to 3.0. We are having good penetration into some markets with some commercial agreements that I think are really valuable.
D: So you have this overarching mission of justice on the blockchain, but your minimum viable product is lowering the barrier for legally binding agreements between freelancers and job providers. Where today typically freelancers are in a very weak position. Because negotiating a legal agreement cannot be done if I have a $100 job for installing a WordPress website — and then I am completely exposed.
What milestones have you achieved? Do you have a shipping product? Do you have users?
A: Thanks for these questions. What you are mentioning is one component, the one related to smart legal contracts in the open jurisdiction, the most affordable one, that we hope will often be free of charge. We are trying, with our test, to solve the freelance problem.
This is the first product we made, and we tested it internally, and it’s totally working. You will see it in action in a few months. We will do closed tests within our large community; we have 7,000 community members and among them, 5,600 lawyers as well as 170 medium and large sized companies.
Those are not current users. Everything valuable takes time. Nobody can say “hey, next month it’s going to work.” This is not how experimental digital products work. So we are building up strong relationships and the basis for an adoption when we release the whole ecosystem and meanwhile we will work with these companies, these lawyers, to test and give feedback.
Also, something that is not common in the blockchain industry — I think it is important to say: digital products are not static. It’s like a startup — at 1.0 — we need to evolve. So we are proud to be working on evolution before the token issuance. We have investors who have given us great advice, and I have been really proud in these months that have been difficult for many projects — one investor he wanted a lock in period of three years. He is here for the long term, and I think this is the right approach. I am not a fan of white papers. The implicit promise can be broken. I am more of a fan of delivering something small to test, to show your idea and to prove the quality of your delivery, and that’s how we handle the milestones of our roadmap.
D: You are working with a very specific jurisdiction, advising them on how to adopt certain regulatory frameworks in order to be ready for blockchain projects. This is the jurisdiction of San Marino. So tell me, where is it?
A: San Marino is a super small country within Italy. A lot of people don’t know where it is, but I am sure they would like it. It’s very nice for holidays. It’s close to Rimini, in the North of Italy.
In the last 12 months, they have been really good in delivering “minimum viable legislation” — to make an analogy to startup products. Just a couple of highlights on that. I decided to help them in the beginning and I became an advisor and member of the San Marino Committee on Scientific Innovation. It’s a private company but owned by the state. Thanks to the new legal framework, this company will have regulatory powers. It’s going to be like FINMA for Switzerland.
They adopted blockchain legislation. This first step is only for ICO and STO regulation, and in my opinion, they did a pretty good job. What I told the Secretary of State and the President of Association from the beginning is: Law, in theory, is not enough. If you have a super amazing law on paper but it’s not going to work in practice, the blockchain industry is not going to benefit from that. So what I liked is the really practical approach that they are going to take. For example, I can’t tell too much, because much of it is under NDA, but they are really sensitive to the topic of opening bank accounts. To be practical for everyone who is listening, all of us in this industry know this can be very challenging.
One “pro” of this jurisdiction — will be in the next three years, the practical approach to real topics and they are really open to discussing the problems of companies onboarding in their country, and so this is really the most important piece, their outlook. There will be a lot of things happening in the next 24 months in San Marino. I think if you are in this industry, it is worth your time to keep an eye on that.
D: Thank you very much. Good luck to Jur and good luck to San Marino, which is trailblazing opening new frontiers and Jur is opening new frontiers in applying blockchain to the legal field and to the field of justice on the internet.
Join us for part two of this video, where David asks:
If you imagine in 10 years time, Jur’s mission is blossoming, how do you see that? How do you define your success in the future?