Archivo de la categoría: Courts

Court judgement oracle for smart contracts in blockchain

Dispute resolution is a fundamental aspect of human relationships be it social, professional, or business relationships. Many circumstances impact in the execution of contractual agreements and processes.

Contractual disputes

Disputes over contracts aren’t always caused by ulterior motives or deliberate intentions to short-change another party. Sometimes, they may be as a result of honest mistakes or inadequate understanding of the original contract.

However, no matter the reason behind controversies and disputes during the execution of contractual agreements, there is usually the provision for settlement systems that are supposed to interpret the terms and conditions of the given contracts and deliver fair judgment.


The court driven oracle solution

Many smart contracts define external sources of information (oracles) that rule some aspects of the contract.

When Court Oracle defines some specific label to mean some specific value related smart contracts can execute related transactions allowing the use of Civil Law and Court jurisdiction to allow for conventional dispute resolution to be applied in blockchain based smart contracts.

Users on this platform can create deals and have them registered on the blockchain as bound to judiciary resolutions, but executed as transparent smart contracts. This enables every fact and detail of the deal to be available and traceable in case of any dispute.

This proposal is seriously considered by blockchain experts working for Spanish Technical Committee of Digital Judiciary (CTEAJE, by its spanish initials).

No changes to Civil Procedures are needed to create this technology extension, but judiciary related government bodies need to support an interoperable technical service to be managed transparently and available to all courts.

One specific challenge is to deal with appeals procedures, since different levels of judiciary framework can produce different judgements.

Sale of 144,336 Bitcoins by US Attorney for the Southern District of New York

The U.S. Justice Department  claimed the proceeds from the sale of 144,336 bitcoins, valued at over $48 million, that were recovered from Ross William Ulbricht’s laptop computer, after shutting down the online drug market Silk Road in 2013,

Ulbricht was found guilty in 2015, after a jury trial, of distributing narcotics, distributing narcotics by means of the Internet, conspiring to distribute narcotics, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic in false identity documents, and conspiring to commit money laundering, in connection with his operation of the Silk Road underground website.

Ulbricht created Silk Road in January 2011, and owned and operated the underground website until it was shut down by law enforcement authorities in October 2013. 

Silk Road emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet, serving as a sprawling black-market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site’s users.  While in operation, Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services to more than 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars deriving from these unlawful transactions.

In connection with the investigation of Silk Road, the Government seized 144,336 Bitcoins derived from Silk Road’s illegal activities that were found on Ulbricht’s laptop computer.  These Bitcoins were ultimately sold by the United States Marshals Service pursuant to Court order for $48,238,116.

The government had already sold the bitcoins in a series of auctions in 2014 and 2015, but the creator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht (aka “Dread Pirate Roberts”) had challenged the legality of the forfeiture.

Ulbricht, however, agreed to drop the claims, according to the office of Joon H. Kim, the Acting U.S. Attorney for  the Southern District of New York—meaning the government could claim the proceeds.

The $48.2 million total proceeds means the US government sold the bitcoins for an average of $334.

The current price is above $5,000—meaning the Justice Department would have made better conversion had the sale taken place nowadays.