Smart Contracts, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

JAMS Mediation, Arbitration and ADR Services

ADR and Blockchain Technology

JAMS closely tracks emerging developments affecting our industry and the clients we serve, including technological advances that may change how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is used. Smart contracts utilizing blockchain are one such example.

What Are Smart Contracts?

A smart contract is a coded, self-executing agreement between parties on a blockchain (a decentralized ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions). Smart contracts raise unique concerns for several reasons, including the general anonymity associated with the process (as with transactions involving Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum and Litecoin, to name a few) and the regulatory and enforcement issues surrounding the entire crypto ecosystem.

This also creates new challenges and opportunities for dispute resolution mechanisms, whether they are needed to address a contractual dispute, an unforeseen coding error, hacking or some other event. Errors and other issues affecting a smart contract could occur both on and off the blockchain.

While some “on-chain” disputes could be candidates for self-executing, automated resolution, there is uncertainty regarding how complex or high-value disputes should be handled. This uncertainty causes apprehension in potential litigants because the resolution methods in this arena may turn out to be fundamentally different from traditional methods such as the court system and ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration.

Utilizing ADR in Disputes Arising from Blockchain Activities

JAMS is the first institutional ADR provider to create protocols supporting the use of ADR in disputes arising from blockchain activities, including smart contracts. JAMS draft rules and clauses are being provided for review and comment. JAMS can be contacted at solutions@jamsadr.com.

Learn more about the JAMS Smart Contract Clause and Rules (DRAFT) ›

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JAMS Solutions

solutions@jamsadr.com

5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614

About JAMS

JAMS successfully resolves business and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective and impartial ways of overcoming barriers at any stage of conflict. JAMS offers customized, in-person, virtual and hybrid dispute resolution services through a combination of first class client service, the latest technology, top-notch facilities, and highly trained mediators and arbitrators.

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