How Smart Contracts & Blockchain can co-exist with current legal concepts

Presented by

Lee Bacon, Nigel Brooke (Clyde & Co), Kevin Hobbs (Etherparty), Jimmy Nguyen (nChain(

About this talk

The title smart contracts is used to refer to a number of arrangements in which relationships are governed by a pre-determined digitalised arrangement, so that coded instructions execute on the occurrence of an event. These often use Blockchain or distributed ledger technology to record and execute transactions. In their purest sense, the code – once agreed – becomes self-executing and self-governing and thus (it is argued) replaces the need for a wider contract or checks and balances. Whilst their common name is arguably a misnomer (they are not necessarily contracts in the traditional legal sense), their implementation can enable transparency in supply chains and the reduction of frictional and intermediary costs. This panel will examine how the concepts of smart contracts, utilising blockchain technology, can co-exist with existing legal concepts to include a review of: · The distinction between traditional legal prose/code and programming code. · Application of traditional principles (to include the three f-words: frustration, fraud and force majeure) · The allocation of responsibility and liability. · Practical steps and perspectives on the future.

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