The Three Main Crypto Laws


Often times, history and culture shape the contemporary legal systems of countries. That is why an event that is deemed normal in one jurisdiction may be interpreted as illegality is another part of the world. That’s how diverse legal systems are and just like countries, there exist laws that guide and to some degree shape up the operation of blockchain and crypto protocols.

We can even say crypto laws are the very fabrics that bind and make crypto so unique: decentralized, laissez-faire and open source. Nevertheless, blockchain solutions exist in a not so perfect world. There are challenges because everyday regulations are churned that throttle the spread of blockchain based solutions. However, deep inside blockchain, there are protocols.

These are the set of rules that prevent, manages and resolve disputes. They may be unwritten but every developer knows they exist either through code or via a set of operation laws. These blockchain or crypto laws help in everyday management of disputes.

Perhaps inspired by this:

Here they are:

Don’t break the Protocol

This law is straight forward, natural and easy to follow. Every developer should at any time be responsible, ensuring that the network is well maintained. In that case, there shouldn’t deliberate introduction of bugs that would otherwise cause systemic failures. The bottom line is that disputes cannot and should not be resolved by the intentional introduction of critical, bridge-breaking vulnerabilities and bugs. Although the open source nature of public blockchains makes it extremely hard for a dispute-free co-existence, it is upon participants and the community to quickly and amicable reach consensus and thereafter merges fixes that satisfies the majority while simultaneously preventing the degradation of the underlying system.

Keep Crypto Laws Legal

The global nature of blockchain protocols mean they operate in and out of many jurisdictions. Some of these territories may, after all, be against the proliferation of blockchain applications as cryptocurrencies for example. Therefore, like international collaboration, there should be leeways and even compromise to avoid a clash with existing legal systems. As such, developers, as well as companies, should at all times structure their affairs and comply with dictates of legal—and the more dominant– systems to avoid disputes. When they do, these projects do exist harmoniously and legally within a given jurisdiction.

Vlad Zamfir said this about this law:

“crypto law is structured by existing legal systems is a natural consequence of the fact that crypto law operates in the jurisdictions of existing legal systems.”

Blockchain Governance Minimization

Popularized by Nick Szabo, this operational law touches on software upgrades as soft forks or hard forks. The law is simple and urges developers not to merge proposals into the main source code unless there is technical maintenance justification. The law guides smart contracts which are autonomous and over time, blockchain systems that advance this law are seen as socially scalable that those who don’t observe it. All the same, this law has been criticized as been apolitical, aggressive and “full” of legal posturing.

Vlad criticizes this law saying:

To cap this up

These are the main crypto laws. Nothing has been hardcoded and written on stones. They can change as the blockchain world evolves.