While blockchain technology has introduced smart contracts that offer an efficient way to encode agreements, there is not yet a mechanism in place to resolve disputes should they arise from these contracts.
This omission means participants may eventually have to resort to traditional methods to settle any disagreements.
Anyone who has had to endure physical court proceedings will know this is not an attractive proposition as the current legal system is riddled with inefficiency, exorbitant fees and countless delays.
It has been suggested that blockchain contracts, under the right conditions, could be re-twigged as smart legal contracts so as to remove the time-consuming and wallet-draining court hearings from the entire process.
Jur aims to increase trust within business relationships by providing adaptable smart legal contracts and agreements that incorporate escrow services and are supported, if needed, by a fast dispute resolution system at near zero-cost.
It is this consensus-based dispute resolution mechanism that eliminates the inefficiency and high costs of litigation found in the current legal industry by harnessing blockchain technology to inject transparency, cost savings and flexibility into the process.
Based on easy-to-create smart legal agreements from templates that are in turn enforced through a decentralised dispute resolution system, Jur is setting out to provide justice as a service (JaaS) on the blockchain.
A number of documents, in both English and Chinese, are available through the Jur website providing all the information a potential contributor to the project may require.
A sixty-four page white-paper, a one page brief introduction and a thirty-five page Deck slide presentation are neatly designed, well crafted and provide a solid grounding in all aspects of the service.
Useful appendices in the white-paper help to breakdown the key features into easily digestible chunks of text.
An additional nine page Arbitration Contract Specification PDF gives specific details of the contract to be used to solve disputes for users of the service.
It is intended that users of the platform will navigate their way through intuitive wizard-guided templates, available on the network’s marketplace, to create smart legal agreements that are relevant to their business deal or relationship. In mutually agreeing to the policies that govern these contracts, it is suggested that later disputes will be kept to a minimum.
Users of the network are entitled to manage three agreements per month free of charge but can increase this amount by paying a fee.
If a serious disagreement does occur once the contract is in play then a consensus-based resolution system can be triggered to resolve the issue. The standard timeframe from start to finish of the resolution process is set at 24 hours but this can be amended to suit at the contract redaction stage.
It depends on what type of problem is causing the impasse as to whether the users open the resolution vote to all network users or prefer to restrict judgement to a certain group of people.
The choice is provided as it is recognised that certain agreements or business practices require contextual understanding to be able to provide a valid opinion.
To facilitate this, pools of individuals with specialised knowledge or qualifications in certain fields will be grouped together in oracle groups. Certain requirements, dependant upon the nature of the group, will need to be fulfilled by potential oracles to receive membership to that group.
Those in dispute and who wish to use the resolution service will stake their JUR tokens – which must equate to 1% or more of the contract value – to open a case on the platform and both parties will propose a solution to the problem at hand.
Voters are known as jurors and they will commit their own JUR token as a guarantee of their own good faith to cast their vote to the party who they decide are in the right.
Exploiting game theory, the idea is that jurors in the majority position will receive the tokens from those who voted against the consensus. The mechanism relies on blockchain-secured anonymity between jurors to prevent manipulative collaboration, i.e. corruption. It is therefore in everyone’s interests that each individual juror avoids submitting a dishonest assessment.
As a result, then, jurors are incentivised to vote when they are confident about what the fair outcome should be and abstain when they are unsure.
The plaintiff who wins the case will see the contract resolve in their favour and also have their original stake returned to them plus the tokens staked by their losing counterpart.
There are a wide range of possible use-cases for these types of legal arrangements but the team believe early adopters could relate to OTC transactions as well as ICO services and investments.
Dispute resolution mechanisms can be included in contracts relating to settlement of payments so the funds deposited in escrow can be directly linked to the resolution voting procedure should problems arise at any stage of the payment process.
Further into the roadmap, Jur will develop APIs for the benefit of external platforms as a means for outsourcing its dispute resolution mechanisms.
Jur is headed by its three co-founders, each bringing complimentary and overlapping skillsets to the project.
Alessandro Palombo is a qualified lawyer and has a Ph.D. in Public Law and a Masters in Global Market Regulation. As well as serving as a legal counsel, he has founded and been involved with other Legal and FinTech startups. His opinions on technological advancements within the legal realm have often been aired during his time as host of the IusLaw radio show.
Giotto De Filippi also has an educational background in law with vocational experience as a developer which saw him occupy varying roles including providing SEO for Skype. He has been an advisor to several ICO projects and is one of the more lucid – not to mention constructive – commentators on the blockchain space through his medium page.
Filippo Schiano di Pepe became qualified in structural architecture and design before finding his niche in providing internet-based solutions for clients in this field. By founding GoPillar he mirrored and tailored the large scale tender process used for commercial contracts for the retail market. In doing so, he allowed anyone with a home renovation project to now directly source various architects’ proposals.
Stand out from the remaining Core team is Polymath’s Director of Technology and founder of Enclaves, Adam Dossa.
Refreshingly, only four advisors are listed as officially overseeing the project and their calibre hints at selection based on quality over quantity. These include well known investor and Singularity AG Director, David Orban, and Ari Mielich who is leading the project at Decentraland.
Jur is a utility token that, under Swiss law, is classed in full as a hybrid utility token. It is also ERC-20 compliant on the Ethereum network.
Out of a total supply of 1 billion JUR tokens, 400 million will be available during the ICO. Any unsold tokens will be added to the company’s reserve allocation.
At the time of publishing this article, there is an ongoing private sale and no token prices have as yet been released.
With the team awaiting results of that sale, no softcap has yet been set but a hardcap of CHF 30 million will apply to the project.
400 million tokens will be allocated to the team and seed investors which, as it is equivalent to the number available to the public, may be viewed as being on the high side.
Lock up periods of between 12-20 months apply to the team and advisors.
- Idea Conception
- White-paper v1.0
- Focus Groups
- Early investments and private Alfa version
- Company incorporation and team building
- Seed Round
- White-paper v1.1
- Temporary Website
- Blockchain Alliance
- White-paper v2.0
- New Website
- Technical Paper
- Hire business development for Asia and South East Asia
- MVP Release
- Test on Open Voting System
- Voting Web Interface
- Arbitration Contract
- Smart Legal Agreement Builder
- Smart Legal Agreement Builder
- Oracle Groups
- Early adopters in Cryptocommunity (OTC transactions, investments, etc)
- APIs to third parties
- Tests on Hub Voting
- Build up Oracle Community
- Marketing and business development for freelancers acquisitions
- Mobile Version
- Integrated with Stable Coin
- Continue marketing operations
- Marketing and business development in Asia begins
- Blockchain switch (dependent on tech and marketing evolution)
- Build up multilingual customer support team
- Hiring experienced community managers to grow and strengthen the community
- Jur Platform Advanced version
- Advanced Smart Legal Agreement Builder
- Community Operations
Jur demonstrates clear use cases from both sides of the business relationship. It will enable customers to include binding contracts that can specify penalties for part or total failure to deliver while the supplier can rely on the resolution service to hedge against non-paying customers.
Live projects operating in other areas, such as Augur, have proved that blockchain-based anonymous voting mechanisms are a feasible means for establishing consensus on a subject.
The unique selling points of the Jur service are simple yet compelling as all genuine plaintiffs are looking for a fast, low cost, fair and transparent form of arbitration.
Nearest market competitor to Jur is Estonian-based Jury.Online which raised a modest USD $4 million in its own ICO last year. While there are differences in form and scope of the projects, general perception would imply that Jur’s hardcap of around $30 million is maybe a little optimistic under present market conditions.
Ratings Score Methodology: a weighted average across three scores: Concept (10% weight), Blockchain Fit (30% weight), Execution (60% weight).
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