Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, known for early investments in companies such as Twitter, Skype and DocuSign, has invested $1 million in seed capital in Jur, a blockchain-based dispute resolution platform founded in Switzerland.

Draper described Jur’s dispute resolution platform as “the future of decentralized justice” and its recently issued cryptocurrency, the Jur token, as “the token of justice in the new blockchain era.”

In an article yesterday in Business Insider, Jur’s founder and CEO Alessandro Palombo said that his company is building the “Tesla of justice.”

“Unlike hybrid cars, Teslas were designed from the ground-up to be electric, said Palombo. While older ODR platforms still rely on offline document management or scheduling, Jur was built to be entirely digital — from start to finish.”

Jur launched its online dispute resolution platform in beta on March 31, which it calls the Open Justice Platform. It says its arbitration platform is suitable for civil and commercial claims worldwide and is compliant with requirements of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Jur says platform supports every phase of the arbitration process, from filing a claim to case management, hearings, and issuance and enforcement of an award.

Jur also says that, after testing in a separate environment, it will gradually introduce elements of decentralisation and blockchain into its platform, to provide an enhanced level of transparency, quality and neutrality of the procedure.

The Jur token, according to the company’s website, will eventually be used for staking to prevent corruption in the judgment of a dispute. Participants will be required to stake tokens in escrow as an anti-corruption fund, and arbitrators involved in peer review of awards will also be required to stake tokens.

Although ODR has existed for 25 years, the pandemic has driven new interest in the field. Recently, I wrote about the launch of New Era ADR, a fully virtual mediation and arbitration platform that promises to resolve business disputes in 100 days or less, and earlier this week, I wrote about the company FairClaims and its expansion into commercial arbitration.

Similar to these services, Jur is targeting disputes between $5,000 and $1.5 million, and promising to resolve them within one to three months.

A Jur white paper explicitly links the development of its program and the pandemic’s magnification of the justice problem.

“COVID-19 has forever changed the way the world works, and it has been a wake-up call for many industries to rethink how they operationalise,” the white paper says. “The legal sector is no exemption. Courts in many countries were closed, and alternative solutions such as ADRs and arbitral institutions were caught unprepared for remote operation.”

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.