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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
International Arbitration Insights<br />

International Arbitration Insights

Guide to arbitration of disputes relating to cryptoassets and smart contracts

Arbitration has many features that make it well suited to disputes relating to cryptoassets and smart contracts and it is fast becoming the dispute resolution option of choice in the crypto sector. The inherent flexibility of arbitration and party autonomy can help to address many of the unique technical challenges arising from cryptoassets. However, technology, unique procedural options and public policy issues also give rise to specific concerns when arbitration is used.

As a guide to these issues, we have published an article, 'Arbitration of cryptoasset and smart contract disputes: arbitration unchained?'

With arbitration fast becoming the dispute resolution option of choice in the crypto sector, we have authored a guide to its use and the specific issues that can arise.

In the article, we consider:

  • Arbitration and arbitration agreements: problems of jurisdiction and forum selection that may arise in disputes relating to cryptoassets and smart contracts, the potential benefits of using arbitration to resolve such disputes, and the validity of arbitration agreements in cryptoasset user agreements (including public policy issues arising out of consumer protection legislation).
  • Arbitration rules and procedures: existing and new, dedicated sets of arbitration rules that can be incorporated in crypto contracts and smart contracts, as well as examples of so-called "on chain" arbitration systems and apps.
  • Enforcement of arbitral awards: emerging issues arising from attempts to enforce arbitral awards concerning cryptoassets through the national courts, as well as "on chain" enforcement options ranging from empowering arbitrators to operate or modify the code of a smart contract directly, to enforcement mechanisms independent of the powers of national courts.

The article was originally published on Practical Law and is reproduced with the permission of the publishers. For further information visit

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