Online Dispute Resolution for Smart Contracts

24 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law; Cyberjustice Lab

Colin Rule


Date Written: June 26, 2019


Smart contracts built in the blockchain are quietly revolutionizing traditional transactions despite their questionable status under current law. At the same time, disputes regarding smart contracts are inevitable, and parties will need means for dealing with smart contract issues. This Article tackles this challenge, and proposes that parties turn to online dispute resolution (“ODR”) to efficiently and fairly resolve smart contract disputes. Furthermore, the Article acknowledges the benefits and challenges of current blockchain ODR start-ups, and proposes specific ideas for how designers could address those challenges and incorporate ODR to provide just resolutions that will not stymie efficiencies of smart contracts. Nonetheless, the Article also raises pivotal cautions and questions for ensuring the fairness and transparency of these solutions over the longer term.

Keywords: dispute resolution, online dispute resolution, online, dispute, resolution, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, technology, AI, bots

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J. and Rule, Colin, Online Dispute Resolution for Smart Contracts (June 26, 2019). 2019 Journal of Dispute Resolution 103, University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-11, Available at SSRN:

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Cyberjustice Lab ( email )


Colin Rule

Modria ( email )

100 West San Fernando Street
Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95113
United States

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