re:publica Dubline – Oct 2016
Blockchain & Future of Law – Keynote

If the protocols & algorithm on the blockchain define the ‘constitution’, the underlying crypto laws of our future crypto economy, if they define the rules of how people will interact with each other in the future, what happens when the algorithm becomes outdated? It will have to be modified though consensus. But consensus on the blockchain is not easy as we can see from the challenges that bitcoin is currently facing. So, if the protocols we define today are the constitutional foundations our future societies, if the coders of today are the lawyers of tomorrow, we will need to learn from history and the challenges of modern democracy, before we set out to build the next killer dApps on the blockchain.

Another question that arises: Are the coders of today the lawyers of the future? How do these new technologies fit into existing legal structures? National and international law already have a problem coping with the the classic internet, not speaking of the next generation internet that is completely serverless. What do we need to do to create adequate legal structures for distributed organizations, on chain as well as off chain? And how can we merge smart contracts with legal contracts?

 

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