Blockchain Technology for Corporate Governance and Shareholder Activism
33 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 2018
Blockchain is a technology that can offer smart solutions for classical corporate governance inefficiencies, especially in the relationship between shareholders and the company. Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are generally considered dull mandatory yearly rituals and its important theoretical functions, the information, forum and decision-making functions, are de facto eroded. In addition, the AGM suffers from procedural flaws, especially when shareholders vote remotely. Therefore we make a strong plea for the modernization of the AGM with the use of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology can lower shareholder voting costs and the organization costs for companies substantially. Moreover, blockchain technology can increase the speed of decision-making, facilitate fast and efficient involvement of shareholders. In addition, the main problems with the current chains of intermediaries and remote voting system have to do with transparency, verification and identification – issues that are directly linked to the advantages of blockchain technology. The recent prototypes of blockchain-based AGMs that are discussed in this contribution show that blockchain technology as tool for shareholder participation is definitely feasible.
Keywords: Shareholders, general meeting, blockchain, distributed ledger technology, central banks
JEL Classification: G32, G34, G38, K22, K24, O16
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