How’s this for eyebrow-raising? In London, for the last year and a half, a team of lawyers, cryptographers, software engineers, and/or former military consultants have been brewing a bizarre and/or brilliant plan for a bridge between the blockchain and the real world — a system whose success is directly proportional to the extent to which it achieves legal title over every physical object in the world.
Wait. Let me explain. Their name is Mattereum, and they are not Bond villains seeking to conquer the planet. Rather, they are trying to bridge the gap between programmable blockchain “smart contracts” and actual legal contracts. As you might imagine, that gap consists of an almost infinitely knotty tangle of legal precedents, gray areas, and jurisdictions.