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Japan designs blockchain-powered digital court for digital age

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A team of researchers in Japan have designed a blockchain-powered digital court that would make settlement of disputes concerning legal agreements cheaper, faster, and more effective announced an official press release on Monday.

Given the blockchain technology’s potential to ensure that the information is stored across multiple computers in such a way that it cannot be tampered with, later on, it presents immense opportunities to impact several areas of life. While it has found its most effective use-cases in the field of finance and retail so far, some researchers have gone a step further in finding some most unconventional uses for it.

Last year in January, it was reported that Aragon court launched a decentralized online court in a move to address barriers concerning national and international jurisdictions when settling disputes.

Japan deploys blockchain to build a digital court

In a similar move, Professors Hitoshi Matsushima from the University of Tokyo and Shunya Noda from the University of British Columbia in Canada have led research that deploys blockchain technology to build a digital court and make traditional legal services accessible to all. 

According to the press release, the unique mechanism that is built around the existing concept of smart contracts eliminates the need for an expensive legal process. What a digital court does is record the opinions of the parties involved in the case of an agreement violation. The algorithm then aggregates the data and concludes who violated the agreement.

As soon as the digital court concludes, it immediately imposes fines on the guilty party after holding back the deposit paid during the initial stage of the agreement. Shedding more light on the digital proceedings and explaining the benefits, Matsushima said that while blockchain technology is deployed to maintain immutable records, most of the legal process, in fact, does not involve decentralization.

Decentralization comes with challenges

This is a crucial upgrade to the existing smart contracts which can judge a dispute by carrying out potentially expensive interactions with the blockchain technology. What we have done is reduce the degree of interaction at each stage, thus keeping the digital court costs drastically low, Matsushima explained. 

Speaking about the emerging technologies and how blockchain attracts a bad name due to its decentralization and inability to curtail its shady implementations, Matsushima added that it is a challenge with every upcoming technology. If we are to embrace a new-age economy pattern, the innovators should work closely with regulators to find a solution that is suitable to all, he asserted. 

Featured Image by Flickr

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