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Third publication: "Blockchains: Debugging bad drafting"

Russell McVeagh releases third publication: "Blockchains: Debugging bad drafting"
29 November 2016

Today, Russell McVeagh released their third booklet in the publication series produced by the firm's Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Team. The booklet,Blockchains: Debugging bad drafting focuses this time on one of the most high-profile smart contract meltdowns.

In June this year, a legal tension inherent in the use of smart contracts came into focus. The Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) developed a smart contract to run on the ethereum network. The DAO was 'hacked', and approximately US$60 million of digital currency was taken by one of the participants (whose identity remains unknown). The legal issues associated with the 'hack' are many and diverse and bring into close scrutiny, the interplay between contracts "in the code" and the current legal frameworks.

Tom Maasland, Head of the Auckland ICT Team says, "Smart contracts are here to stay. Lawyers need to understand the technology and the how widespread use of such smart contracts, in all areas of business, might interact with the law. The DAO's 'hack' provides us with a fascinating real time test case of how smart contracts and the law might intersect."

The firm's Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Team advise on the full spectrum of ICT matters for the private and public sector. Russell McVeagh has made this publication accessible to all clients and the wider public via this link, and encourages any queries to be directed to Tom Maasland ( and Michael Taylor ( for further advice.

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