A former EU trade commissioner has joined the advisory board of the DeFi dispute-resolution platform.

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The Astra protocol appears to offer a mechanism for conflicts to be resolved in the crypto realm rather than in regular courts.

Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Trade for less than a year, will join the Astra protocol’s advisory board.

Astra said on Tuesday that Hogan will join its board as an executive adviser, noting his expertise with the European Commission and international relations. The former European Union trade commissioner will give strategic direction in collaborations targeted at promoting growth in the decentralised finance (DeFi) industry, according to the initiative.

“Decentralised finance is becoming increasingly prominent across the world, but the lack of robust, legal protection has hindered progress within major institutions,” said Hogan.

Astra claims to provide a legal assurance layer for public blockchains aimed at eliminating fraud and resolving disputes between users. According to the project, it seemingly acts as a medium between two parties, both of which must agree to establish a smart contract on Ethereum, Polkadot, Cardano and others. Should there be any dispute, Astra can step in to “quickly and cost-effectively resolve the issue.”

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The platform may provide a mechanism for legal issues to be resolved in the crypto realm rather than in court. A task team in the United Kingdom issued a report in April suggesting a framework for dealing with smart contract disputes. Because there are millions of cryptocurrency users spread across a number of nations with varying legal systems, smart contracts may offer an alternative to bringing traditional lawsuits – as long as they do not violate local or international law.

Hogan served as the EU trade commissioner for nine months starting in December 2019. In August 2020, he resigned following his attendance at a dinner with more than 80 people at the Oireachtas Golf Society in Ireland amid the COVID-19 pandemic — many public officials in the country had previously issued statements warning against gatherings during the pandemic. Hogan has since suspended or deactivated many of his social media accounts.

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