We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. The world’s largest economies are effectively grinding to a halt as countries enforce lockdowns, hoping to reduce the transmission of the highly contagious COVID-19.
Now more than ever the world is relying on the power of the internet to keep things ticking over. With offices shutting there is no alternative. For some businesses or lines of work, remote work can be beneficial, no different or at worst a slight hindrance. Of course, other professions aren’t so fortunate. Restaurants and bars aren’t able to function while the majority of the population is isolated.
Education and work has moved online, but an interesting story has come out of China during this pandemic – enforced isolation will not stop court hearings. You’re not getting away from the law that easily.
Court has moved online in Shanghai, with a 63% increase in online court cases recorded by the Shanghai High Court. Court trials are held remotely using video conference links and other online platforms are used to handle payments, material submissions and other litigation services. Renowened author Richard Susskind (who also happens to be legal advisor to the UK’s Lord Chief Justice), recently stated that we should globally accelerate the introduction of virtual and online courts.
However, despite the sharp increase of online court usage in Shanghai, other parts of China have tried to make the same change and have struggled with the technology. Participants have required detailed walkthroughs to be able to use the software.
Things are changing in other sectors too. For example, Facebook is sending home thousands and thousands of human content moderators and YouTube is temporarily transitioning to a more automated video review process – this could have huge effects on both creators and consumers.
Nethertheless, these stark changes are of great interest because it really highlights a great cryptocurrency project that we have our eyes on – Kleros. Kleros is a decentralized platform that can arbitrate any kind of dispute fairly, efficiently and affordably.
Kleros is ahead of the curve
In these new, tough times we are in need of solutions that can solve our recently introduced problems. They say that necessity is the mother of invention but in this case, Kleros is ready and waiting.
Decentralized arbitration may well be a logical transition for the future of courts and it is certainly highly relevant during this ongoing pandemic. Using Kleros, court systems around the world would be able to resolve cases with no physical contact required. Kleros could therefore be leveraged to maintain court functions in affected areas during tough times. Furthermore, as we move into the future and step out of this pandemic Kleros could be adopted to take the strain off court systems and resolve any kind of matter.
How does Kleros work?
Any dispute can be resolved with Kleros. When a case is brought to the Kleros platform a decentralized jury is crowdsourced using an advanced and fair random selection method. Essentially, jurors put themselves forward by staking PNK tokens, the native token of the Kleros platform. The more one stakes, the more chance they have of being selected. However, it’s important to note that a portion of the staked tokens are at risk to prevent malicious action.
Once the jurors have been chosen they are all presented information from all involved parties and are then required to reach a decision. Economic game theory is used to ensure a fair resolution is reached.
As previously mentioned, all jurors have a certain financial risk when taking a case. When all jurors have reached a decision an arbitration fee will be paid to the jurors. However, those jurors that do not agree with the majority will lose a portion of their tokens. The majority of jurors will keep all their staked tokens.
This process has been meticulously designed to ensure that the correct resolution can be reached. Jurors are financially incentivized to conduct thorough due diligence and reach the fair and correct decision.
It’s also worth noting that Kleros court rulings can be disputed, which adds another degree or reliability. If this happens the disputed case will be reviewed by a new tribunal. The appealing party will be charged for the arbitration fee for the new jurors.
Other applications of Kleros
Amidst this crisis we are starting to realize our reliance on centralized systems and how their downfall can massively impact our lives. Online content just continues to grow and is a major part of most of our lives by now in the developed world, especially for younger generations. But the moderation of online content is reliant on centralized systems and due to COVID-19, these systems are failing.
From a consumer point of view, if the moderation changes then perhaps the automated processes won’t catch videos that shouldn’t be made public. Whether a child is exposed to unsuitable material, radicalists are able to spread propaganda or something else entirely, moderation needs to be constantly on point to maintain acceptable standards.
For creators, it’s possible that a move to a more automated review system could false flag videos with no option to resolve, causing creators to lose income and struggle during these times.
With a decentralized arbitration system like Kleros there would be no need to send the moderators home because they would already be decentralized. They could work from wherever they like – home, the beach, the spa… really anywhere with an internet connection.
During times of unprecedented disruption, a huge number of problems spring up and massively impact our society’s regular functioning. It’s time that our society adopts the solutions that are ahead of the curve and ready to solve these issues like Kleros.
Kleros can be used to continue court trials during these times of isolation and could also be used for any other dispute resolution.