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Thibault Schrepel is a Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Assistant Professor in Antitrust Law at Utrecht University School of Law.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased our reliance on technology and reinforced the place of code in organizing society. This need not be a negative thing.
As Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin and I argue in a recent , computer scripts can help complement laws and facilitate human interactions. Blockchain tech, for example, can be used to reach some goals of antitrust law – which seeks to improve competition in the marketplace – where the rule of law may not be enforceable.
By themselves, technology and the law will fail to maximize the common good. And if they keep an adversarial approach to each other, both will put up strong resistance. For that reason, West Coast code (programming) and East Coast code (laws and regulations) can no longer oppose each other; they must collaborate. This collaboration demands a change in mentalities in both fields as well as reciprocal concessions, as we argue in “.”