Does the Blockchain fit well into the American legal system?

Tim Swanson has a new and interesting paper on that and related issues, here is part of the abstract:

…a ledger that does not provide a one-to-one correspondence between what the endogenous network says andwhat the exogenous jurisprudence says about the status of a financial contract is a network that cannot exist without the legacy settlement framework that it seeks to replace, for the latter will continue remain the authoritative record of ownership. In practice, the censorship-resistant aspect of “Blockchain 2.0” is impractical as a solution for financial settlements in cash, securities and other off-chain property titles.

I would put it this way.  Next time you sign a contract with a corporation, try making them the following offer.  You will pay two percent more (or receive two percent less), but if a prespecified set of seventeen yaks, distributed at various points around the globe, all sneeze at exactly the same time, and can be photographed with a time stamp when doing so, the corporation is to send you ten million dollars no further questions asked.  By the way, they could sneeze in tandem three years from now and still you would get the money.

See how far you get.  See if it matters whether they accept your argument that this is a very low probability event.

This isn’t just conformity bias, as corporations strongly prefer not leaving such risks open, even if the risk is extremely small.  They like closing out a deal with finality.  But in the world of the Blockchain, the 51 percent always has the last say, for better or worse.

Here is a Reddit thread on the paper.


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