SMART CONTRACT DISPUTES AND PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS IN THE ASEAN+6 REGION

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SMART CONTRACT DISPUTES AND PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS IN THE ASEAN+6 REGION

SMART CONTRACT DISPUTES AND PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS IN THE ASEAN+6 REGION

Abstract
Smart contracts provide some benefits, such as better facilitation for contracting parties to monitor performance
of their obligation, verifying whether a contract has been executed, reducing the cost spent monitoring
the contract etc. However, it is critical to understand the various limitations of this concept as well as the many
legal and public policy uncertainties surrounding it. Given the non-existence of a ‘universal rule’ that governs
smart contracts, the issues vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This article analyses the experience of legal
regulation of ASEAN+6 countries in detail. Due to public policy considerations, there are different scenarios
with regard to smart contract development. One possible outlook is that ASEAN+6 countries will not accept (a) a
smart contract as a contract, (b) cryptocurrency as property, and/or (c) the enforcement of foreign awards relating
to smart contract disputes and/or cryptocurrency. Another possible way out of the deadlock is to govern
relations under smart contracts according to the UNIDROIT Principles. However, if the parties do not opt for such
a solution, the determination of applicable law will be left to the relevant conflict-of-law rules, with all of the
related uncertainties. Therefore, the author suggests that supranational laws are the better path for avoiding
uncertainties in smart-contractual relationships. Arguably, smart contracts may be used in other contexts and
for other economic purposes, not only for the transfer of cryptocurrency. The article concludes that lawyers
should realize the current public policy trends that govern smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.

Gabriel R. De En Goh / Smart Contract Disputes and Public Policy Considerations in the ASEAN+6

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