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. Draft JAMS rules and clauses are being vetted currently by industry groups, experts, and potential users, and can be made available for review and comment upon request. For more information, please contact Jon Trujillo at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your interest and organizational affiliation.
JAMS is a member of the Accord Project.
JAMS mediators and arbitrators successfully resolve cases ranging in size, industry and complexity, typically achieving results more efficiently and cost-effectively than through litigation. JAMS neutrals are skilled in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation, arbitration, special masters, discovery referees, project neutrals and dispute review boards.
- Jonathon Trujillo
Business Development Specialist
500 N. State College Blvd. 14th Floor
Orange, CA 92868