Lexys provides the tools for the future of law
We make blockchain-based smart contracts hands-on-accessible for lawyers, regulators and other jurists.
Our tools empower non-technical users to understand, reason about, create and monitor reusable, computable, data-driven contract models, that are executable on a blockchain network.
Our technology provides for the missing link of legally binding documentation that expresses the will of two or more parties and describes precisely the mechanism of specific, correlated blockchain code.
Our research beats the path for AI and the Things of the Internet of Things (IoT) to engage in business and close legally compliant and legally enforceable software-defined contracts, with humans or each other.
Smart Contracts Need Work
Blockchain Smart Contracts are a reality today, but they are not contracts. In many cases they violate laws and regulations, especially in jurisdictions based on European Civil Law, which is all of continental Europe, much of Africa, most of Central and Southeast Asia, South and Central America, South Korea and Japan. Better yet, one of the main novelties of blockchain smart contracts is that they are executed in tens if not hundreds of jurisdictions the world over at the same time. Breaching them all.
Lawyers cannot be replaced. Their knowledge must be tapped to create legally valid smart contracts. But parsing natural language, i.e. legal contract prose, in the hopes to create blockchain smart contract code from it, is elusive as of today. Multiple research projects did not yield results.
Cooperation between lawyers and programmers is required to craft smart contracts that comply with the law but communication between the professions proves to be difficult. And the challenge is multiplied beyond feasibility by the many jurisdictions that smart contracts operate in.
A meta language for law has been eyed as part of the future of law for quite a while. It becomes the mandatory foundation for the challenge at hand. A new meta language – Lexon – can provide the desired functionality, serving as common root for both smart contracts and legal prose, ideally guaranteeing that the prose perfectly describes the code. Tools are required to empower lawyers to use this language. That’s what Lexys does.
Providing Tomorrow’s Quill and Gavel
Lexys is developing the tools required for the emerging Lexon ecosystem: to facilitate the development of Lexon smart contracts, make sure they are legally valid, monitor their performance and manage the wealth in templates and script libraries you will create.
Lex:on is an experimental compiler to translate meta script code that obeys the Lexon grammar, to both legal prose and blockchain smart contracts. It supports the ongoing work to define the Lexon language that is in full sway now, by allowing to try ideas in a hands-on fashion.
Lex:ide is a web–based development environment that helps writing and managing Lexon code. It is being designed to require minimal coding experience, to help learning the language and becoming productive. It will support the new profession of lawyer-developers with code version control, debugging and deploying smart contracts to the blockchain.
Lex:ycle is a web–based lifecycle management tool, tracking contract changes across the legal text and the blockchain smart contracts. It is closely integrated with the targeted blockchains themselves, to display business and legal information in real-time.
Lex:ign is a service for legally compliant digital signatures that bridges the gap between signatures used on blockchain and the requirements jurisdictions place on digital signatures to be valid. This allows for summary procedure under Civil Law where plaintiffs can rely entirely on documentary evidence.
Embracing the Blockchain Future
Blockchains are like a force of nature. You can ‘ban’ them but not make them go away. Laws may have to adapt to a new reality.
But blockchains prevent things from going wrong in the first place. To a shocking degree, they can make sure everyone plays by the rules, as agreed upon when entering the deal. This may change the profession.
The nature of entering into legal contracts will likely change dramatically and litigation might take a back seat to dispute prevention: because a blockchain gives you the guarantee that a contract will execute – including moving assets and money – exactly as cod(ifi)ed. It will bring the benefits of ‘possession’, which some call nine-tenths of the law, to more areas since assets and money will move automatically.
We will need lawyers who know how to program, or programmers who know about the law. And we will need fewer people who scrutinize and decipher written prose.
Inevitably, blockchain technology will allow for new things to happen in traditional commerce, the sharing economy and the Internet of Things (IoT). Fringe markets, collaborative organizations, self-driving cars, will all benefit. As will every domain where progress can happen by sharing and trading in a more reliable way.
Most of all, blockchains enable machines to do business directly with other machines. Without a proxy that checks on them or signs things off. Because it allows for the negotiation of and entering into of binding agreements between parties that do not know each other. And who accordingly, also don’t know if they can trust each other.
This is the dawn of machine–to–machine commerce (M2M) and new markets in a plethora of niches where the overhead of doing business was just not worth it in the past.
In the domain of governance, blockchains should allow to ‘scale trust:’ we should see reputation systems emerge that allow for communities to grow beyond the level where natural trust between individuals govern the foundation of the interaction.
The elimination of the transactional overhead will have the additional benefits of dealing with the contingent questions of what should happen when something goes wrong, or someone turns out to cheat – or just resorts to self-serving subjectivity. Or if you know your counter-party just has no conscience at all, cannot be punished and knows it – because it’s a machine.
Blockchains may turn out to change law profoundly. Lexys will make you a winner of the transformation.
Lexys was founded by Henning Diedrich and Florian Glatz, acknowledged thought leaders in blockchain, Legal Tech and regtech.
Henning is an entrepreneur and developer, who specialized in distributed systems and functional programming before coming to Bitcoin. He created a custom language for the insurance industry that was in use for 15 years and was architect of IBM Hyperledger Fabric and IBM’s official liaison to Ethereum. He is the author of the book ‘Ethereum’, a non-technical guide to blockchains and consults for the European Commisson on using blockchain and distributed ledger technology to avert a repeat of a credit crisis like 2008.
Florian is a lawyer, software developer and academic researcher working full-time in the blockchain space since 2013. He is one of the very few professional with deep insight and many years of hands-on experience in both the legal and the software domain. As a lawyer, he helps startups and corporations navigate the uncharted waters of applied blockchain technology in a world of legacy legal systems. As a software developer, Florian focused on software-driven innovation in law and finance. As a researcher he explores the interaction of code and law in a digital society.
Lexys is based in Berlin, which has emerged as a major center of gravity for the blockchain space. A sizable share of the world leading blockchain companies have development offices in Berlin, benefiting from the talent pool, cultural wealth and healthy political realities of the atypical capital.