Blockchains seem to replace the muddiness of human institutions with the crystalline mathematical perfection of code. But some of this shift is an illusion: the mud always finds a way to seep back in. I will give a lawyer's perspective on why ambiguity and discretion are so hard to get rid of, even on blockchains.
James Grimmelmann is the Tessler Family Professor of Digital and Information Law at Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School. He studies how laws regulating software affect freedom, wealth, and power. He tries to help lawyers and technologists understand each other by writing about digital copyright, search engines, privacy on social networks, online governance, and other topics in computer and Internet law.
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