This essay advocates for the recognition of the blockchain arbitral legal order and tries to draw its contours.
Maxime Chevalier, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Blockchain dispute resolution has led the crypto economy to the surge of a new form of dispute resolution: blockchain arbitration. Resolving disputes on-chain is becoming necessary as national and international legal frameworks are not adapted to the characteristics of blockchain transactions.
More importantly, the legality of smart contracts is highly debated under various national laws. This new sui generis form of arbitration should not be assimilated with traditional arbitration. Indeed, blockchain arbitration might not fit within the traditional international arbitration framework, and it does not have to.
Because blockchain arbitration operates as an oracle, the decision from the jurors automatically triggers or modifies the smart contract. Through the blockchain technology, arbitration has reached the possibility to automatically enforce arbitral awards with no need to rely on state courts’ authority.
Observing the legal theories of international arbitration, blockchain arbitration enshrines the representation of delocalized arbitration, but simultaneously leaves room for a new representation of arbitration: decentralized arbitration.
In the next decades, we will see the surge of the blockchain arbitral order, an independent legal order anchored in the Lex Cryptographia. This essay advocates for the recognition of the blockchain arbitral legal order and tries to draw its contours.
Published in: Journal of International Dispute Settlement
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