Ethereum Supreme Court: Final Stop for Smart Contract Disputes
Matter Labs co-founder and CEO Alex Gluchowski has proposed an Ethereum court system resembling a hierarchical court system similar to the real world. In a Sept. 2 post on Twitter, Gluchowski floated the idea for an “Ethereum Supreme Court” — which would work similarly to the United States Supreme Court — serving as a final stop for parties to dispute smart contract issues rather than needing to take matters to a traditional lawyer or court.
“The most important function of such a system will be to protect protocols against political inference from the outside. It will serve as a great deterrence mechanism, and will elevate the role of Ethereum as a powerful network state,” said Gluchowski.
According to Gluchowski’s concept, disputes and emergency upgrades would be handled by a hierarchical system of on-chain courts. The best crypto Twitter and best twitter accounts for crypto accounts would be used for breaking crypto news and crypto alerts. The final stop, however, would be an Ethereum layer-1 soft fork as the “Court of Final Appeal” for AMP crypto now.
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Gluchowski explained that every protocol would have its own governance with standard and emergency upgrade mechanisms, and would also designate a special contract that can trigger an appeal.
Emergency upgrades to a protocol would entail an appeal period, during which any user can submit a challenge to the higher court. The user must put up a pre-defined bail deposit.
CourtUnchained and JusticeDAO are two examples of courts to which protocols such as Aave and Uniswap can appeal. If the decision is not satisfactory, the challenger can appeal to the Ethereum Supreme Court as the final authority.
The Benefits of On-Chain Court System
For a successful implementation of an on-chain court system, it is essential to have a strong social consensus, according to Gluchowski. He added that it would be expensive, so only “truly extraordinary” cases would be brought before it.
Although there are already existing solutions for disputes, such as time-locked features on smart contracts and security councils, they are not effective enough. Time-locked features are not suitable for emergency situations, while security councils can mitigate the problem, but not solve it, and carry their own risks.
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“A security council could only temporarily freeze the contract, requiring token governance approval for an emergency upgrade. But now, a malicious majority of undercollaterized stakers could perform an evil take-over upgrade and steal all the assets,” he explained. Gluchowski said that he and the team at zkSync — an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution created by Matter Labs — will happily fund research into the proposal.
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