Distributed Ledger Technology and Smart-contracts: which incorporation into the usual Law?

Despite the fact that the Blockchain is recent, this technology already has many prospects and use cases in the following generic areas:

  • transfer of digital assets;
  • register;
  • smart-contracts.

Projects also support some concrete economic or real life developments (for example: dApp Ethereum, hyperledger), sometimes even in production context.

In the lack of a regulatory and a judicial environment, this use could therefore lead to legal difficulties or even litigation. Why? Because, to date, many questions remain open such as:

  • What probative force and what opposability regime should be given to data recorded in a Blockchain network?
  • Can a smart-contract be considered as a legal and/or a real contract?
  • How will a Judge handle a request concerning data originating from the Blockchain and/or a smart-contract?
  • How could we also introduce this technology into the legal field in order to ensure that it could be understood and embedded by legal professionals?

It would be useful to think about these and other questions soon, in order to prepare for tomorrow’s realities.

Indeed, the connection between the blockchain and the judicial reality has not yet been achieved. Who could say today that the Blockchain is practically incorporated by the judicial community and that a smart-contract is considered as a contract « sensu stricto ». There are therefore efforts to be made to make progress in a more appropriate direction.

This is precisely why, on the basis of some current insights, I would also like to explore constructive approaches, technical solutions also, that could help us move step by step towards a better matching of this technology with the needs of daily legal practice.

Technology must be made available to legal professionals. In this way, some challenges will be overcome more quickly. Then the blockchain could extend a little further into the real world…

David S.

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