Thirty
Park Palace

Design Fiction

Willchain is the first willwriting platform using blockchain technology.

Willchain is a british start-up allowing each individual to write his own will without the assistance of any solicitors. Wills are filled, secured and stored using blockchain technology. Following current trends this scenario pictures a future United Kingdom where blockchains have been broadly deployed and implemented within every services from government to financial markets.

Going further in our scenario a gigantic assets shift occurs with the end of baby boomer generation. The importance of this shift requires new and fast services in order to transfer all assets from one generation to one another and traditional solutions proposed by sollicitors are quickly outdated by blockchain services proposed by start-ups such as Willchain.

This fiction raises two primordial questions. First, how far are we ready to trust a software? Asking a software to apply your last will is an ultimate proof of trust because you’ll not be able to monitor it since you’re dead. How fast can we reach this degree of trust and is it even necessary? Placing your trust in a software means also withdrawing your trust from a human (in this case a solicitor). Even if humans have developed all the softwares we’re using, new technologies such as blockchains are meant to be more autonomous. For the purpose of the fiction I’ve created a false law called « Digital Liability Act » that states that a software can be recognised as a legal person. At some point someone got curious and asked the UK embassy for more details about the law.

The second question asked is about how interfaces shape our behaviours and semantics. Using Willchain’s services you can transfer your house to your family in less than two seconds just by drag and dropping the selected asset to the right column, is this right? Working with a solicitor and writing your will is a complicated process but it’s at least reflecting the complex life we’re all live in, having a family, home buying and so on… Should all these human stories swipe to one column to one another in less than two seconds? Will it affect our relation to property, for instance, if our estate transactions become that simplistic ?

We should not forget that interfaces are also conceptual models that shape the way we perceive our own world, whether narrow or complex. We conceive interfaces as much as interfaces will somehow conceive us. This is a crucial point that designers should not forget and should accept as they design simplistic experiences or interfaces for a more and more complex reality.

 

Credits

Design and Research  Gauthier Roussilhe
Assistant Sarah Garcin
Voiceover — Julia Holiday
Date —  Aug 2016

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