International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

Article

Decentralized Justice in the Era of Blockchain

Keywords ODR, blockchain, arbitration, decentralization, crowdsourcing
Authors James Metzger
Author's information

341085 James Metzger
Dr. James Metzger is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law.
  • Abstract

      ODR that is built on blockchain technology and infrastructure is championed by supporters as being capable of revolutionizing dispute resolution. Kleros is a decentralized dispute resolution platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that uses cryptoeconomic theories and game theory to recruit and incentivize a worldwide pool of ‘jurors’ to decide the cases arbitrated through the platform. This article discusses some early evaluations of whether this kind of decentralized ODR is likely to succeed by viewing the model through a normative framework, including considering whether crowdsourcing of justice on a decentralized platform is a viable way to conduct ODR. The article then discusses the likelihood of the success of the sub-court model, including whether choice-of-law issues might be problematic for a worldwide, decentralized system. Finally, the article considers whether the cryptoeconomic and game theories that provide the foundation for the Kleros platform are likely to result in a jury pool, much less an actual jury, that could be considered ‘fair.’ The article is informed by the author’s experience with the Kleros platform through participation in its interactive initial coin offering and engaging in its beta-testing phase.

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