In this Oath Protocol review, a full glance at their project that includes optimizing legal disputes with the help of decentralized blockchain.
Oath Protocol Review: Introduction
Legal disputes are inevitable and unavoidable constraints in virtually every existing relationship. Try as hard as one may, misunderstandings are bound to occur, regardless of the cohesive nature of the existing bond between both parties. But ultimately, what matters most is the manner in which they are handled.
Sometimes, they are capable of inflicting irreparable damages to even the strongest of relationships; and other times, they tend to make them even stronger. Therefore, in mutually beneficial relationships, (mostly business relationships)both parties strive to settle disputes amicably in order to continue reaping the rewards of the said rapport.
Legal processes like adjudication
Whilst some legal disputes can be settled amicably through consensual processes(negotiation, conciliation, agreement, etc) a large portion of the others require adjudicative processes, (legal proceedings) in order to confer justice.
Adjudicative processes aren’t without its tailbacks, however. Court settlements can take a great deal of time before judgment is passed due to for example adjournments. Also, costs of hiring professional legal advocates are extremely high, and in a case whereby both disputants are okay with that, the issue of corruption and justice obstruction rears its ugly head once more.
Current legal systems are centralized
Aristotle once said that “whoever controls the courts, controls the states”. This affirms the fact that legal systems are centralized, with individuals at the helm of affairs. Such systems are very likely to be compromised by corruption and unfairness in proceedings.
Finally, the number of small businesses are scaling rapidly. Unlike bigger companies, they might rake in just a few hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
How can these smaller businesses have a proper backup in case of a legal dispute? The modern legal systems are way too expensive, corrupt, and consume lots of time which adds up expenses more.
In this article, we review the Oath protocol, a blockchain-based legal dispute platform that harnesses the transparent nature of blockchain. By doing this, it uses smart contracts and aims at an efficient, reliable, incentivized, and incorruptible dispute resolution ecosystem.
Oath protocol review: About
Very often, legal disputes arising between transacting parties. As a result, it is advised that parties entering into a contract decide which means will be employed, should a dispute arise.
To review OATH, it proposes a unique solution to settling disputes amongst individuals and businesses. Moreover, by providing a platform that allows parties involved to enter into a smart contract which is designed to have an Oath arbitration system. Oath leverages a fresh out of the box “Proof Of common sense” consensus mechanism. Therefore, it allows jurors preside over cases using their common sense, not necessitating any prior background experience in the contract field.
When setting up the Oath arbitration system, both parties are required to agree on three important factors. These factors will be listed below.
Number of jurors
Jurors are a group of individuals who are selected from the public to decide the outcome of a particular case. When entering into an Oath designed smart contract, transacting parties are required to select the number of jurors they want to preside over their disputes. They will also deposit a certain amount of Oath tokens which will be used to pay presiding jurors.
Category of court
The category of court allows Oath to select jurors which are experts in the said field in case of disputes. It is, therefore, necessary for parties involved to select a category, based on the kind of contract they are about to enter.
Different options or possible outcomes are created for jurors to choose from after presiding over a dispute. These possible outcomes are agreed upon by parties while entering the contract. For example, in a land legal dispute settlement, possible outcomes may be :
- Grant A ownership of land
- Grant B ownership of land
- Sell land and split proceeds between parties A and B
How to use the Oath system
Upon provision of all these details, the Oath protocol arbitration system is easily set up. In case of a legal dispute, disputants can easily file a report by the click of a button, whilst sending evidence to back their claims. To this effect, Oath immediately selects jurors in different parts of the world. Therefore, it uses a method which will be discussed in a later part of this Oath review.
If the dispute involves certain funds, the money is sent to an escrow account until a decision is reached by the jurors. On getting the evidence, jurors are given a specific time to analyze the situation. After this period, they have to make a decision by selecting one of the possible outcomes stipulated in the contract.
The option most selected by jurors usually supersedes others and is carried out accordingly in the contract.
Oath protocol review: The different actors
Selection of jurors
Jurors are often selected based on categories specified in the smart contract. Moreover, these categories stipulated by contracting parties usually highlight preference to jurors. These jurors have background experience in the field of contract, so as to enable them to deliver precise and fair verdicts.
Depending on the number of jurors stipulated in a smart contract, more may be selected randomly. In addition, this happens via an Oath algorithm, without taking into account the pre-set juror category.
After selection, jurors are notified with details of the dispute, including the number of Oath tokens they will be rewarded with for presiding over the case. Based on this information, they can either choose to accept or reject the case.
Jurors get rewarded for their work through arbitration fees which are paid by one or both parties (depending on stipulations in the smart contract). The reward system helps prevent bribery and corruption from infiltrating the ecosystem.
Appeals are very common in dispute cases. Many times, one part feels dissatisfied with the judgment and proceeds to appeal. When this happens in Oath ecosystem, another case is reopened, and this time, with jurors of higher credit levels. In order to keep appeal levels in check, the appealing party is required to pay appeal fees and is limited to a maximum of two appeals after which the verdict is sent to the smart contract.
Also, appeals are advantageous since jurors of appealed cases have their payments withheld, pending an explanation for their decisions. This leads to more efficient and precise rulings. Appeals are a very effective anti-bribery mechanism since logically, new jurors are kept in dark regarding previous verdicts.
Fairness through rankings and incentivized system
To ensure fairness in judgments, the ecosystem is built in such a way that jurors lose credit levels for dishonest rulings and gain for the opposite. Credit levels are ranking systems that largely determine the probability of juror selection, as well as payment for ruling cases.
Oath Protocol Review: Use case
John is the proud owner of Wash n’ Folds Inc, a start-up company offering laundry services. In search of a logo to convey the company’s services in a more visually appealing manner, John proceeds to hire Kennedy, a graphics designer on a popular freelancing platform to get the job done. They integrate their contract on Oath platform, selecting four jurors, category, and some possible outcomes.
Immediately, he calls for a dispute on Oath, sending evidence showing negotiations with Kennedy, while Kennedy sends him to back his claims. The jurors, who are also experts in graphics design examine the evidence and discover that John never requested a vector-based logo (which does not lose quality on when scaled to larger dimensions). Therefore, three jurors rules that Kennedy’s pixel-based image logo should stand while only one ruled against this.
According to the jurors, John did not give a perfect description of his choice of logo therefore, Kennedy’s work was allowed to stand and his escrowed funds were released effectively.
Features and benefits of Oath
- Low costs associated
- Less time is taken compared to court settlements
- Incentive-based platform
- Keeps information of disputants private
- Fewer chances of justice obstruction
- Gives room for appealing
- Easy deployment of smart contracts through custom templates
OATH is the ERC-20 token that fuels transactions within the ecosystem. All services are paid for using OATH token.
The need for a fast, secure, and reliable dispute resolution mechanism, has never been so pronounced. The advent of the digital world means even more increase in a number of business disputes since millions of transactions are carried out on a daily basis on the internet. These and many more challenges make Oath a unique and glaring solution to the problems in question.
Information and resources
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