Since the emergence of the virtual currency Bitcoin in 2009, a new, Internet-based way of recording entitlements and enforcing rights has increasingly captured the interest of businesses and governments. The technology is commonly called ‘blockchain’, or ‘distributed ledger technology’, and is often associated with a closely related phenomenon, the ‘smart contract’. The market is now exploring ways of using these concepts beyond virtual currencies, notably for financial assets, such as securities, fiat money and derivative contracts.
Blockchainregulation.org is an academic blog covering the entire conceptual framework for the governance of blockchain-based networks in financial markets. It is guided by a vision of how financial regulation and private law set the boundaries of this new technology in order to protect market participants and societies at large, while at the same time allowing for the necessary room for innovation. Our blog explores:
- general aspects of the law and regulation of DLT and blockchain applications,
- the interaction between law and smart contracts,
- the framework for ICOs,
- the future use of DLT-based currencies and payments, and
- the need for international co-ordination in respect of a suitable legal and regulatory framework.