LawtechUK publishes rules for blockchain and crypto disputes

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of LawtechUK has published rules designed to enable faster and more cost-effective resolutions to legal disputes around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts.

The government-backed organisation said that while the use of these technologies has gained popularity in recent years, there has been little consistency in how legal disputes should be resolved, which has led to lengthier and more costly processes.

One key feature in the new Digital Dispute Resolution Rules is that they allow parties to resolve their disputes by an arbitrator, rather than by a judge in court.

“I am delighted to welcome the publication by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of the ground-breaking Digital Dispute Resolution Rules,” said Sir Geoffrey Vos, chair of the UK Jurisdiction taskforce. “International business is rapidly adopting the use of digital documentation and on-chain smart contracts. The Rules aim to provide a process for speedy and cost-effective resolution of disputes originating digitally. They will hopefully give global businesses greater confidence to adopt and utilise new digital technologies.”

Jenifer Swallow, LawtechUK director at Tech Nation, said: “Analogue ways of doing business will be widely restructured and digitised in the coming years, increasing efficiency and transparency. The smart contracts market alone is set to reach $345.4 million by 2026. Methods of dispute resolution must keep pace.

"The Digital Dispute Resolution Rules are a step change in that evolution and in enabling wider confidence and adoption of these technologies - underpinning those readily-available today and capable of adapting to those yet to be developed. This is an exciting next step in the UK’s leadership at the forefront of business, law and technology, and also demonstrates how simple legal processes can be.”

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