Prominent Lawyer Gabriel Shapiro Introduces Effort to Synthesize Crypto and Law

The venture aims to explore the intersection of code and law, culminating in establishing an alternative legal system

By: Owen Fernau Loading...

image featuring a gavel poised above a blockchain, rendered in neon colors within a minimalistic style

The venture aims to explore the intersection of code and law, culminating in establishing an alternative legal system

The law needs to develop new tools to adapt to the modern world where autonomous protocols and AI agents increasingly hold sway.

So says Gabriel Shapiro, general counsel at Delphi Digital, who on Tuesday introduced a venture he co-founded.

The venture, called MetaLeX, has the futuristic goal of serving the new “cybernet economy” — the term describes a world “in which the physical and digital worlds will merge on top of the ‘value substrate’ of blockchains,” according to a whitepaper Shapiro shared with The Defiant.

Shapiro said he developed MetaLex in response to “seeing [his] clients not able to implement trust -minimized legally compliant governance structures because it's not fast and easy to do so.”

The legal standing of crypto protocols has been a continuous point of contention, as industry participants say regulators and lawmakers have failed to provide a clear framework, especially in the U.S.

MetaLex Roadmap

The whitepaper breaks up MetaLeX’s roadmap in three parts. The first is headlined with the word BORGs, which the paper says is short for ‘cyBernetic ORGanizationS’ or ‘Bionic ORGanizationS.’ Another essay by Delphi Labs, Shapiro’s current employer, describesBORGS as being “legally governed by autonomous technologies through tech-specific rules implanted in their charter documents.”

The next step of the roadmap is called dealTech, which involves an effort to fulfill the promise of using smart contracts to automate legal inefficiencies.

The final step of MetaLeX’s vision is entitled “Autonomous Law,” which explores the potential for law to exist outside of any state. While the idea may initially sound “absurd,” the whitepaper says, autonomous law builds on the idea of autonomous finance, a key quality of DeFi.

“The final phase of MetaLeX is to harness the ecosystem of interoperable DAOs, BORGs and deal technology built up in Phases 1 and 2 in order to bootstrap a new system of autonomous law that rivals the legal systems of nation-states,” the whitepaper reads.

MetaLeX’s website is live and offers a waitlist feature. Shapiro said on X that the first iteration of the whitepaper will become public in the coming weeks.