Code is Not Law: Code Can be a Language Used to Create Smart Contracts

Richard Levin, Peter Waltz and Robert Wenner

“Code is Law”.11Lessig (1999); see also Lessig (2000; 2015). While leading academics and other fans of technology believe in this concept, other members of the financial technology (fintech) community, academia and the legal community believe code is not law.22Kolber (2016); see also Abegg (2016).

Law can be defined as:

the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognised and enforced by judicial decision; or any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution; or any controlling influence of such rules, the condition of society brought about by their observance.33For instance, dictionary.com.

Code is a form of language. Language can be defined as

a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition; communication by voice in the distinctively human manner, using arbitrary sounds in conventional ways with conventional meanings; speech; the system o

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