Shogo Ochiai
Mar 7 · Last update 6 mo. ago.

Blockchain, smart contracts and the law.

Blockchain can be run anoymously. Especially the chain with expressive smart contract would achieve much more complex behaviors. What if in the future, smart contracts violates some countries law, and governments cannot afford to ignore the smart contract? As per Cypherpunk Manifest at 1988 by Tim May (R.I.P.), P2P technology will eat this world and there's no way to mitigate it for us. Is the smart contract for avoiding liability good thing? Is there any way to deal with smart contract via current legal system? Gimme your opinion.
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Smart contracts and law need to be synchronised
0 agrees
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Blockchain will reward the adventurous
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0 disagrees
Anonymity needs clearer guidelines online especially in contracts
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Legal systems will become increasingly obsolete
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0 disagrees
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Smart contracts and law need to be synchronised

Most state’s laws function to protect people in the state or the state itself, allowing individuals to avoid liability in this respect is a damaging prospect for the security of a society. The blockchain advocacy group Chamber of Digital Commerce, have published a white paper that attempts to establish what constitutes a legally binding smart contract and how they can operate in legitimate way within a legal system. There is a great need for a thorough investigation regarding how smart contracts can be used within a state’s legal framework, but as this technology moves forward there will similarly be a need for progression in lawmaking.

As smart contracts are guaranteeing trust and that job is taken away from authorities such as banks, new financeial system will need to be put into place. The same is true of laws and the legal system, but transition should be slow so society can manage the transition and the progression of law and technology can move together. Programmers may need to develop a more coherent knowledge of the law while, law makers and lawyers may need to develop a deeper knowledge of smart contracts moving forward. Countries may need to collectively discuss changes to law to deal with the legal disruptions peer to peer and blockchain technology could lead to, and countries may even need to pass online encryption constitutions collectively, opting in to avoid legal grey areas or loopholes being exploited.

digitalchamber.org/smart-contracts-paper-press

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 23
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DH edited this paragraph
https://digitalchamber.org/smart-contracts-paper-press/

Blockchain will reward the adventurous

Any government that attempts to slow down the implementation of innovative technology will ultimately by left behind. Blockchain solutions may revolutionise most bureaucratic systems, making things quicker, cheaper and more efficient, the countries that repress or slow the advantageous innovations will simply fall behind. Others that embrace change will reap the benefits as solutions such as smart contracts become increasingly ubiquitous, and increased efficiency leads to economic reward.

Speaking about online censorship in general, computer activist John Gilmore is famously quoted as saying "the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" [1]. Any attempt to control activity online simply prompts users find another way to overcome limitations, meaning it will be safer to accommodate changes in technology than to try and regulate against it. As blockchain and smart contracts are expected to go hand in hand with, or even revolutionise, legal matters, blockchain solutions may require some changes to a country's legal framework to accommodate them, but that remains down to the country. Countries that remain flexible to this innovation will reap the rewards, while the legal systems that endeavour to protect themselves will inevitably be routed around.

coincentral.com/blockchain-and-law [1] kirste.userpage.fu-berlin.de/outerspace/internet-article.html

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 23
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Speaking about online censorship in general, computer activist John Gilmore is famously quoted as saying "the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" [1]. Any attempt to control activity online simply prompts users find another way to overcome limitations, meaning it will be safer to accommodate changes in technology than to try and regulate against it. As blockchain and smart contracts are expected to go hand in hand with, or even revolutionise, legal matters, blockchain solutions may require some changes to a country's legal framework to accommodate them, but that remains down to the country. Countries that remain flexible to this innovation will reap the rewards, while the legal systems that endeavour to protect themselves will inevitably be routed around.

Anonymity needs clearer guidelines online especially in contracts

There are various negative sides to anonymity and avoiding liability online, moving forward measures need to be put into place to deal with the issues caused by anonymity on the internet. Some operations need to be encrypted or anonymous (banking, automated vehicles, etc) but it is increasingly clear from social media, the inciting of hate, violence, or terrorism online and cyber-bullying that anonymity and avoiding liability online can have overtly negative effects also. Likewise avoiding liability in a smart contract that should be binding will have negative outcomes and needs to be avoided.

Just as with current legal contracts, smart contracts can be susceptible to vulnerabilities, studies have found that around 45% of Ethereum contracts have vulnerabilities in them. Smart contract are promising but are still susceptible to hacks, insider manipulation or interference, and unintended outcomes from code failure or unanticipated situations arising. Measures can be put in place to alleviate some of these issues, however anonymity surrounding smart contracts may require further contractual stipulations such as consequential damage contracts or clauses. But just as greater guidelines will be needed moving forward legally surrounding blockchain, so will better guidelines to deal with anonymity and what are the safe boundaries to being anonymous online.

steptoeblockchainblog.com/2017/04/best-practices-for-limiting-liability-arising-from-smart-contract-vulnerabilities ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4914&context=flr

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Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Oct 23
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Just as with current legal contracts, smart contracts can be susceptible to vulnerabilities, studies have found that around 45% of Ethereum contracts have vulnerabilities in them. Smart contract are promising but are still susceptible to hacks, insider manipulation or interference, and unintended outcomes from code failure or unanticipated situations arising. Measures can be put in place to alleviate some of these issues, however anonymity surrounding smart contracts may require further contractual stipulations such as consequential damage contracts or clauses. But just as greater guidelines will be needed moving forward legally surrounding blockchain, so will better guidelines to deal with anonymity and what are the safe boundaries to being anonymous online.

Legal systems will become increasingly obsolete

The future is currently looking bleak for policing the online world, and we are currently looking toward a future that will be more hackers versus security companies than cops versus robbers. Laws won’t matter the more intelligent, organised and decentralised the dark web and illegal activities become. Moving forward, hackers and security companies will be moving faster and progressing at a speed far beyond what any current legal system can function at, legal systems will need rethinking or risk being unable to deal with an increasingly lawless future where the internet allows individuals to route around issues of liability and/or privacy.

Just as the advent of blockchain technology has given users of the tech the possibility to maintain trust while maintaining anonymity, so will future technologies crop up with greater and greater prospects of protecting users identities and securing anonymity online. According to security experts the “police are currently in an arms race with criminals, … we’re operating at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly industrialised”. With this as the case moving forward you will not be able to force smart contract systems to exist in the current legal framework. The progression of such technology will lead to more truly anonymous systems, and as it does so will the current legal systems be bypassed entirely, making systems that try to enforce antiquated laws more and more obsolete. Law will have to change to keep up with technological developments or get left behind.

metro.co.uk/2019/05/21/the-dark-web-is-becoming-an-amazon-for-crime-for-millions-9282982 technologyreview.com/s/526401/laws-and-ethics-cant-keep-pace-with-technology

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Disagree
Latest conversation
Daniel Halliday
Oct 23
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Just as the advent of blockchain technology has given users of the tech the possibility to maintain trust while maintaining anonymity, so will future technologies crop up with greater and greater prospects of protecting users identities and securing anonymity online. According to security experts the “police are currently in an arms race with criminals, … we’re operating at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly industrialised”. With this as the case moving forward you will not be able to force smart contract systems to exist in the current legal framework. The progression of such technology will lead to more truly anonymous systems, and as it does so will the current legal systems be bypassed entirely, making systems that try to enforce antiquated laws more and more obsolete. Law will have to change to keep up with technological developments or get left behind.
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