Blockchain startup Mattereum is developing an innovative way to unlock the potential that distributed ledger technology holds – in the context of digitizing assets – in a manner that is legally recognized by the law.
The London-headquartered startup is on the quest to provide legally enforceable smart contracts. Using the unique skills its team possesses, the company has developed a system that offers blockchain-based data legal recognition, all without the extensive changes to existing legislation.
The Problem with Smart Contracts
When smart contracts first came into existence as a result of Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum, the innovation caused a serious stir in the crypto community. For starters, smart contracts allow parties to interact in a way that was previously thought to be difficult without arbitrators. While smart contracts reduce costs and increase efficiency, the development faces a significant challenge.
Smart contracts operate in a legal grey area. In most jurisdictions, smart contracts have yet to be explicitly awarded legal recognition. There is debate over whether smart contracts are inherently admissible in a court of law. However, as is the case with emerging technology, the law has yet to catch up, leaving those who would like to use the contracts, especially in the context of assets and their transfer, in an unenviable position.
In the initial days of the smart contract frenzy, the calling card was “code is law,” referencing the fact that smart contracts enforced the guidelines defined in their code and could not be changed or otherwise influenced once they were put into play.
Now, Mattereum is aiming to turn law into code, finally overcoming the most significant challenge that smart contracts have faced since their inception.
Mattereum Wants to Make Code Law
As explained in the project’s summary whitepaper,