Law Faculty Scholarship


[excerpt] The concept of online dispute resolution (ODR) is not new. 1 But, with the advent of Web 3.0, the distributed web that facilitates pseudonymous and cross-border transactions via blockchain's distributed ledger technology, 2 the idea of, and pressing need for, appropriate dispute resolution models for blockchain-based disputes to support this novel system of distributed consensus and trust of which blockchain proponents boast, is a primary concern in rapid development. 3 The common goal of each project is to utilize smart contracts to facilitate "superior, quicker[,] and less expensive proceedings by eliminating so many of the tedious and protracted trappings of traditional arbitral proceedings, such as the sending and receiving of documents via courier.", Despite myriad approaches, all emerging blockchain-based dispute resolution services (BDR solutions) generally seek to bridge the divide between automated performance mechanisms, like smart contracts, and the human judgment traditionally required to settle legal disputes.5

How our existing legal frameworks must develop to ensure that smart contracts 6 facilitate, rather than frustrate, the parties' intent is a critically important question to ask as the blockchain stack's infrastructure and application layers are being built and, ultimately, scaled. Indeed, interest is high in the race to create alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve disputes arising from blockchain-based commercial transactions that, due to the transnational, borderless, pseudonymous, and distributed nature of blockchain, clearly necessitate international solutions.7

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Wayne Law Review

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