Kleros’ Arbitration Protocol Launches on the Ethereum Mainnet

Wooden justice gavel and block with brass
Wooden justice gavel and block with brass. Image credit: flickr.

Blockchain Justice

Blockchain technology has developed to a point where implementation is possible across many industries. One such example is Kleros, a project that provides a new and innovative way of conducting arbitration in the legal world. In short, it offers jurors economic incentives to rule cases effectively and honestly, leveraging blockchain for added security. The Kleros team revealed on June 24, 2018 that they are working on their first experimental trial, called Doges on Trial, slated to run on the Ethereum mainnet.

Doges on Trial

Kleros is conducting their Doges on Trial experiment to test how their system can use arbitration to settle disputes. The trial involves three classes of user: Submitter, Prosecutor, and Juror. The experiment aims at compiling and creating a large list of Doge images, the beloved Shiba Inu meme that has its own cryptocurrency. Users determine their own roles according to the specific actions they take on the platform. Below are explanations of each role in greater detail.

Submitter:  The submitter is entrusted with providing images into the list, which is achieved by making an Ethereum deposit. The funds are then locked for a pre-determined “challenge” period. Two possible results may follow — the submission is not challenged and is sent to the list, and another where a prosecutor challenges the legitimacy of the submission.

The compensation varies on the actions taken by the users. For instance, submitters with valid Doge images will receive a total of 1,000,000 Doge Coins, which are distributed equally. If a Doge image is challenged for being inaccurate, a duplicate, or violating other rules of the experiment, the submitter will get no reward if the prosecutor wins the trial.

Prosecutor: Prosecutors are entrusted to flag certain submissions which do not comply with the rules, with an Ethereum deposit required to validate the claim. The flagged submission then gets transferred to the next stage where the decision is made by the third class of users, the jurors.

Juror: The final role is that of a juror, entrusted with making a valid decision on every flagged image received. Jurors are required to deposit Kleros’ PNK tokens to solve a dispute. For each case arbitrated, the juror receives compensation from the losing party, either the submitter or the prosecutor.

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The crypto-doge love affair continues. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Purpose of the Trial

There are many reasons why the Kleros team has decided to undertake such a trial, with understanding user behavior being the main priority. The trial will also test the system’s security protocols in order to ward off hostile cyber-crimes such as bribes or p+epsilon attacks. The experiment thus revolves around measuring user willingness to appeal dishonest outcomes, and also to test outcomes in less ambiguous cases. Information on user-behavior is a much needed attribute in the cryptoworld, and the experiment is also expected to open up new opportunities for developing advanced applications, such as content moderation and product listing.

The Doge is simply a fun and approachable way to get users interested in Kleros’ technology; further down the line, its blockchain based arbitration system will be used for a great variety of cases, some humorous, others not so much.


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