Cryptocurrencies and Code Before the Courts (Blog Post)
Machine Lawyering Blog, 2019
2 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2019 Last revised: 29 Oct 2020
Date Written: September 30, 2019
In the rapidly developing cyber sphere of e-commerce and Fintech, dominated by cryptocurrencies and code, it is perhaps not uncommon for firms to focus on cutting-edge technological developments, leaving the law behind as an afterthought. However, the case of B2C2 Ltd v Quoine Pte Ltd (“B2C2”) may serve as a timely reminder of the importance of the legal principles supporting e-commerce and Fintech. In the first case of its kind, B2C2 raised several key questions before the Singapore International Commercial Court, seeking clarification on how the established legal concepts of breach of trust, mistake and unjust enrichment might apply in the context where an automated contract-forming software had produced unusual results. This decision represents the most comprehensive treatment by a Commonwealth court of the legal nature of cryptocurrencies and automated contract-forming software to date; a harbinger of further and more complex litigation to come, as disputes involving e-commerce and Fintech gradually start to reach the courts. In our recent case note, Cryptocurrencies and Code before the Courts (forthcoming in Kings Law Journal), we examine the decision in B2C2 and argue that while the case appeared novel, proper characterisation of the facts allowed existing legal doctrines to be applied.
Keywords: Contract Law, Artificial Intelligence, Cryptocurrencies, Fintech
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