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Blockchain's Struggle to Deliver Impersonal Exchange

Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Forthcoming

Preliminary: Pompeu Fabra University Economics and Business Working Paper Series 1549

42 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 18 Sep 2017

Benito Arruñada

Pompeu Fabra University

Date Written: January 18, 2017

Abstract

The paper identifies what value blockchain adds to the contractual and property processes, exploring its potential and analyzing the main difficulties it is facing. It argues that, contrary to naive conceptions that proclaim the end of intermediaries and state involvement, blockchain applications will rely on a variety of interface, completion and enforcement specialists, including standard public interventions, especially for property transactions. Without these interventions, blockchain applications will at most enable trade in in personam claims—instead of in rem rights—, therefore facilitating personal instead of truly impersonal—that is, asset-based—transactions.

Keywords: property rights, enforcement, transaction costs, impersonal exchange, blockchain, distributed ledgers

JEL Classification: D23, K11, K12, L85, G38, H41, O17, P48

Suggested Citation

Arruñada, Benito, Blockchain's Struggle to Deliver Impersonal Exchange (January 18, 2017). Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Forthcoming; Preliminary: Pompeu Fabra University Economics and Business Working Paper Series 1549. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903857

Benito Arruñada (Contact Author)

Pompeu Fabra University ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Department of Economics and Business
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
+34 93 542 25 72 (Phone)
+34 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upf.edu/~arrunada

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