Smart Love <3 – An Ethereum Marriage Application on SecureScuttlebutt
November 5th, 2016
Smart Love is intended to be both a stand alone application as well as the first public end user application of Bitnation’s Pangea Blockchain Jurisdiction.
The Pangea Jurisdiction concept is a peer-to-peer Jurisdiction, with an intuitive mobile chat/ emoticon frontend, using the communications protocol Secure Scuttlebutt (SSBC and the Patchbay client application) as the code base, while communicating with the Ethereum blockchain to create and execute Smart Contracts (or what we call: Nomic Contracts – designed to evolve through human arbitration like Common Law, rather than be driven by the ‘code is law’ philosophy, like the Civil Code).
Wikipedia defines a jurisdiction as the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. Pangea addresses four core elements of the administration of justice:
Codes of Law (CoL)
- Refer to an existing code of law (e.g. Common Law, Sharia Law or Civil Code), or upload your own code of law
Mediation and Arbitration (MaM)
- Choose Witness(es)
- Choose Arbitrator(s)
- (Choose a Jury – later date application)
- Multisig Escrow to hold mutual assets (money, tokenized land titles, car assets, etc)
- Pseudo-Anonymous Reputation System as incentive for contract compliance (rather than the threat of prison, for instance)
Defined Area of Responsibility (DAoR):
- The Pangea Jurisdiction, built on SSBC/ Patchbay/ Ethereum
What is the Purpose of Marriage?
According to Wikipedia, the purpose of marriage is to “establish the rights and obligations between spouses, and between them and their children. It usually takes the form of a socially recognised union or legal contract.”
In our terms, the institution of marriage serves as:
- Proof-of-Commitment to sustain an enduring relationship
- Proof-of-Acceptance of the union by friends and family, and the community at large
- Proof-of-Support of each other, including shared risks and shared rewards
So the point of marriage is in one word security, to cement emotionally, socially and legally the bond between two or more consenting parties.
What is Wrong with ‘Legacy Marriages’?
In legacy marriages, sovereignty over the marriage contract lies with 3rd Party state and/ or religious legacy institutions: making it an arcane and inflexible process. In effect, these entities take control over the freedom of consenting parties to express the nature and social acceptance of their commitment and the risks and rewards they are prepared to share. For example, in many nation-state jurisdictions it is impossible to conduct HBTQ and/ or Polyamourous marriages.
The Promise and Perils of Blockchain Marriage
Blockchain Marriage Contracts can unlock a world of meaningful voluntary agreements between consenting individuals without the interference of third party institutions, allowing us to avoid arbitrary marriage rules or rites we do not wish to follow.
The primary downside to blockchain marriages that exists today is the immaturity of the ecosystem. Blockchain marriage contracts exist as islands of sort, disconnected from other contracts such as property titles, wills, birth certificates and child care agreements: all of which are essential features of conventional marriages. For this reason blockchain marriages are largely symbolic, so far.
When we agree to merge two or more lives, the union is usually more than an emotional commitment, marriage traditionally entails a commitment to share resources. At this point in time nation state and religious jurisdictions have a go-to legally binding rite and contract to fulfill both these purposes – the marriage agreement – which the blockchain currently does not. But we can change that with Smart Love!
Why Build on SecureScuttlebutt (SSBC)?
All contracts begin with a conversation between people, and smartphone chat is increasingly becoming the go-to tool for conducting business in emerging markets. For those reasons, we are convinced that our Jurisdiction needs a chat interface.
SSBC provides a secure, decentralised chat platform on which users can communicate without worrying about their personal security or privacy being compromised by central servers. The ingenious design allows the user to carry their own data, rather than trusting it to a centralised company – as is currently the case with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. This means that as long as there are two people on the network, the network will remain alive. SSBC also allows you to operate without access to an internet connection – enabled by meshing networks and sneakernets. Imagine the possibilities for places with limited or no access to a working internet connection.
What Can We Realistically Achieve During a Five Week Long Hackaton?
- Feature 1: Create functions (emojis or words) which call upon the Ethereum blockchain in SSBC/ Patchbay private conversations (i.e. creating a smart contract when live chatting on Patchbay with between two to seven participants)
- Feature 2: Sign the contract digitally with an individual ID (Key)
- Feature 3: Timestamp the contract in the Ethereum blockchain
In addition, these functions would be useful (but probably not realistic within the given timeframe):
- Integrate a Multisignature Escrow function
- Integrate Reference to an IPFS Library with Timestamped Legal Codes
- Integrate Search and Registration UI of Arbitrators (based on the existing SSBC/ Patchbay ID system)
Note: Bitnation’s founder Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof is on <ether.camp>’s Panel of Judges. Susanne will participate in the <ether.camp> hackaton, but will abstain from judging on Smart Love, or any other Bitnation related camp, in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
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