An option contract limits the power of acceptance and is a promise not to revoke an offer, in exchange for consideration. Without the enforceability of option contracts, parties would not be able to trust that the other party would not revoke the offer whenever it sees fit. Even with the myriad of ways contract law alleviates the need for blind trust, contracting carries with it an innate requirement that a party either trusts the system in its entirety, or trusts the other party to honor the contract. But, with the advent of online exchanges, how can anyone be sure their online activities are secure, or of the identity of a contracting party? What if there was a way to eliminate the need to trust people or institutions to carry out commercial contracting?
The emergence of blockchain, through the advent of Bitcoin, initially created societal distrust for the new technologies. Yet, while Bitcoin made waves in the financial sector, the most innovative aspect of Bitcoin is the underlying technology: blockchain. Blockchain mitigates the inherent risk involved in transacting with unknown parties and is therefore the closest thing to a trustless system created thus far. In fact, most proponents of blockchain technology define blockchain implementations (hereinafter “protocols”) as “trustless.” Understandably, the discussion of “trust” is confusing because trust is inherent in blockchain protocols in that they are incredibly transparent and secure, which eliminates the need for trust. Somewhat paradoxically, the Economist wrote that blockchain technology is “the greatest chain of being sure about things.” View More.
James Madison defined factions as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Madison noted the dangers of factions, describing them as “the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished.” In his mind, there were two methods of “curing the mischiefs of faction[s]:” either remove the causes or control its effects. Madison wrote Federalist No. 10 to argue in favor of a representative form of government as opposed to a direct democracy; specifically citing the dangers of factions as one of the compelling reasons in favor of the former. Although Madison’s vision of a young and new United States of America has blossomed into something well beyond his imagination, his warnings of factions have stayed relevant throughout the nation’s history. View More.
In the United States of America, police brutality and overreach have been and continue to be insidious problems. Protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, after the shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. A subsequent United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) investigation into the conduct of the officer and the Ferguson Police Department uncovered “clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans,” which were partly motivated by “discriminatory intent.” The report indicated that an “emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson's police department…” While these issues were ultimately uncovered in Ferguson, the investigation was initiated only after the shooting and riots, and irrevocable damage had already been done to the victim and his community. View More.
In February 2018, the New Jersey legislature introduced the A3178 legislative bill, which would completely ban the sale of flavored electronic smoking devices, cartridges, and liquid refills. The regulation of e-cigarettes has been addressed in other states, but New Jersey considered significantly broader restrictions. Some public health experts have criticized this proposed legislation fearing it will turn people back onto regular cigarettes, however this opinion is hardly universal within that field. View More.