[Cryptography] Proposal of a fair contract signing protocol

Adrian McCullagh amccullagh at live.com
Fri Jun 24 19:03:37 EDT 2016

Dear M.K. Shen,

What you are proposing just does not make commercial or legal sense.

The law does not work for your proposal.

There can only be a contract if there is agreement as to what Alice offers.  If Bob simply ignores the offer then no agreement arises.  Only is very rare cases can there be a deeming of intent to create an contrcat.

There 5 basic elements in the creation of a contract/agreement to be enforceable at law:

·       An offer is communicated from person A (Alice)

·       Person B (Bob) unequivocally accepts the terms of Alice’s offer and communicates that acceptance to Alice;

·       There is consideration supporting the agreement/contract;

·       There is an intention to create legal relations which for the most part is determine by an objective test but can be inferred in a commercial setting as opposed to a domestic setting (family arrangements); and

·       Both parties have legal capacity to be bound by the terms of the contract.

The acceptance must be communicated  and for the most part received by the offeror for there to be a contract.  Bob is under no legal obligation to do anything with Alices Offer.  As far as I am aware that is teh law in all common law countries which includes teh UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

Unless I am missing something and with respect this proposal of yours will not be accepted by the law or by commerce.  In essence I still do not see any unfairness.

Kind Regards

Dr. Adrian McCullagh
Ph.D. LL.B. (Hons) B.App. Sc. (Computing)

ODMOB Lawyers
Email: ajmccullagh57 at gmail.com
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From: mok-kong shen<mailto:mok-kong.shen at t-online.de>
Sent: Saturday, 25 June 2016 8:46 AM
To: Salz, Rich<mailto:rsalz at akamai.com>; cryptography at metzdowd.com<mailto:cryptography at metzdowd.com>
Subject: Re: [Cryptography] Proposal of a fair contract signing protocol

Am 24.06.2016 um 16:08 schrieb Salz, Rich:
>> (a) The definition of unfairness I have in mind is: A valid contract C is unfair in
>> its signing processing, if there existed a certain finite time interval in which
>> one partner had already fully committed while the other had yet the
>> freedom to commit or not.
> This is handled by language that says the contract is not binding until all parties sign.

Sorry that I don't yet fully understand what you meant. In which aspect
exactly are you criticizing my definition? (Why couldn't I employ such
a definition?)

M. K. Shen

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