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Vol.15 Issue 2 (2019)

Trust Me: Combining Online Dispute Resolution, Law and Blockchain Technology

Tina van der Linden

This piece focuses on the unsettled relationship between online dispute resolution, law and smart contracts (and the ‘trust’ provided by them). It first introduces the ways in which smart contract applications on a blockchain provide the trust required to deal with unknown business partners – trust in the network rather than in an old-fashioned trusted third party. A distinction is also drawn between calculated trust and institutional trust. The piece then attempts to reconcile the trust provided by smart contracts with the demands of business and concludes that some gaps remain. Finally, it examines what online dispute resolution and the law have to offer to deal with these gaps.


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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