Dispute Resolution

         Blockchains are great!  Blockchains are the answer, no matter what the question!  Blockchains are distributed, decentralized works of wonder in which business can be conducted seamlessly amongst unknown peers and in the absence of intermediaries.  No banks! No credit card companies! No lawyers! No brokers!  UTOPIA!  -- Clearly, a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek intro, but in all seriousness, the promise of what blockchain technology has the potential to achieve for the world IS staggering but there are a lot of questions as to how this technology can realistically be achieved for the masses.  There are truths that need to be addressed. One of these truths is dispute resolution.  There are always going to be dishonest people involved in business dealings;  there are always going to be unforeseen circumstances that could change or disrupt a business situation.  In the absence of intermediaries to bring resolution, how are disputes handled within the confines of blockchain technology?
        As with almost every feature of this emerging technology, dispute resolution will evolve.  In the current state of the technology, a dispute resolution layer can be coded into the smart contract.  The dispute resolution layer can have conditionals for how to proceed in the case of any party involved in the contract desiring to file a dispute.
        Additionally, there are organizations and 3rd party offerings that are emerging to address this topic.  A few of these offerings are:
  • Blockchain Arbitration Forum
  • Coti.io : Arbitration Service and buyer-seller protections
  • Smart Justice :   A decentralized dispute resolution service; settles disagreements through a public arbitration system using incentivized crowdsourced decision makers
  • Kleros : Decentralized Court, Dispute resolution layer

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