Can blockchain and lawyers mix?

Blockchain technology, popularized recently with Bitcoin and Ethereum, enables distributed consensus so that, in theory, centralized organizations like governments and financial institutions are no longer necessary.  A major motivating factor is simplifying transactions so that formalities like legal contracts are no longer necessary.  Ethereum is the leading cryptocurrency in this regard because it enables digital contracts that are performed automatically by software, rather than being enabled by courts and lawyers.

If these projects are successful in creating a world where contracts and social relationships are self-executing, law would seem to be unnecessary.  However,  a few new projects are betting that blockchain won’t swallow law wholesale and instead will provide just one enforcement alternative.  I’ll discuss two projects here, though I’ll note that these folks are probably in the minority the crypto-community, where most people seem to envision a world where law takes a back seat to code.

Continue reading “Can blockchain and lawyers mix?”