Law and Blockchain: A Legal Perspective on Current Regulatory Trends Worldwide
Revue Trimestrielle de Droit Financier (Corporate Finance and Capital Markets Law Review) RTDF N°4-2017 - December 2017
15 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017 Last revised: 25 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 17, 2018
This paper expounds the latest main regulatory projects and industry-wide consultations in the United States (US), in the European Union (EU) and in the main economic countries where distributed ledgers (thereafter, “Blockchain”) regulations have been discussed, proposed and/or adopted.
In just a few years, the Blockchain has become a major topic for public decision-makers worldwide. As this disruptive and decentralized technology has emerged as a key business issue for start-ups and market participants, the central banks and financial regulators have changed, most notably in the US and in the EU, from an initial strong hostility to a more cautious and market-friendly position.
The paper extensively covers and compares the current regulatory trends in selected relevant countries on the various applications enabled or issues raised by the Blockchain technology (Bitcoin/virtual currencies/crypto-tokens, smart contracts, decentralized autonomous organization (“DAO”), initial coin offerings/“ICO”…).
Three main regulatory items should be distinguished and will be analyzed separately thereafter:
(I) the virtual currencies regulation,
(II) the ICO (and crypto tokens) regulation, and
(III) the legal validity of Blockchain technology and smart contracts.
Keywords: Blockchain, ICO, Virtual Currency, DLT, Distributed Ledger Technology, Smart Contract, Token, ICO, Initial Coin Offering, ITO, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, DAO, FinTech, Internet, Trust, Securities Law
JEL Classification: D23, D78, E40, G28, K11, K12, K42, L86, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation