Chuck half a brick into a Shoreditch coffee shop and it is almost certain to hit the founder of a blockchain startup. For those who inhabit the rest of the world, all you need to know is that blockchain is the digital coding invention enabling digital currencies such as Bitcoin. But for legal futurologists, the most exciting thing about blockchain is that it can also enable the creation of tamper-proof contracts that execute themselves when triggered by an event like a flight delay. Or, more intimate obligations.
A Dutch legal software company last week announced a blockchain-enabled smart contract designed to comply with a proposed Swedish law that will require both parties in a sexual relationship to declare explicit prior consent.
LegalFling, accessed on smartphones or the like, would allow parties to record consent by swiping a screen rather than having to produce paperwork at an intimate moment. ‘Asking someone to sign a contract before having sex is a little uncomfortable,’ says Rick Schmitz, chief executive of LegalThings. ‘With LegalFling, a simple swipe to consent is enough to legally justify the fling.’