New digital dispute rules are designed to keep disputes about cryptocurrencies out of court



A task force sanctioned by the UK government has proposed a dispute resolution framework that would keep disagreements over cryptocurrency and smart contracts out of court.

A 14-page report published by LawTechUK’s “UK Jurisdiction Taskforce” proposes new digital dispute resolution rules that aim to provide a standardized way of dealing with smart contract disputes.

Under the remit of the new rules, cryptocurrency-based disputes can be resolved without major intervention from courts. The laws would allow for the appointment of an independent tribunal to adjudicate disputes, and any decision of the tribunal would be legally binding.

The rules also make it possible to raise disputes without disclosing someone’s identity to anyone other than the tribunal, while retaining some of the anonymity afforded by blockchain technology. The document also contains the guidelines and procedures you must follow to raise a dispute. Particularly if someone wants to take advantage of the dispute resolution service, all they have to do is state it in whatever smart contract transaction they are doing.

“These rules can be incorporated into a contract, digital asset or digital asset system by including the text (which may be in electronic or encrypted form) ‘Any dispute will be resolved in accordance with the UKJT Digital Dispute Resolution Rules’,” states the document .

If a tribunal decision is to be enforced, it can be prosecuted through courts established under the law of England and Wales. Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls (the head of civil justice in England and Wales) said he envisioned the rules being implemented in a series of digital transactions in the future.

“I am convinced that digital dispute resolution rules will be incorporated into many types of digital transactions in the future. The UK Jurisdiction Task Force will keep a close eye on how the Digital Dispute Resolution Rules are being used, and will try to see if experience suggests they need to be revised in the coming year, ”said Vos in the report’s foreword.