A Primer on Blockchain, Smart Contracts & Crypto-Assets

Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2019-3

20 Pages Posted: 24 May 2019

See all articles by Mark Fenwick

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Erik P. M. Vermeulen

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law; Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law

Date Written: April 29, 2019

Abstract

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the possible future uses and benefits of blockchain platforms and related technologies, such as smart contracts. This has led to talk of a “blockchain revolution.” Much of this discussion was triggered by the recent “crypto-hype.” We believe that it is important to look beyond the hype and explore the transformative potential of these new technologies. In order to address this issue, however, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the underlying technologies and their regulatory implications. That is why we decided to write this short “primer.” We first introduce the three technologies (blockchain, smart contracts and crypto-assets), before describing the potential social benefits of these technologies and the regulatory challenges that need to be overcome in order for any blockchain revolution to be fully realized.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Crypto-Assets, Crypto-Economy, Digital Transformation, Distributed Ledgers, Ethereum, Regulatory Competition, Smart Contracts, Technology, United Nations

JEL Classification: I30, I31, K20, K22, K24, K30, L31, L50, M13, M21, O30, O31, O33, O35, Q55

Suggested Citation

Fenwick, Mark and Vermeulen, Erik P.M., A Primer on Blockchain, Smart Contracts & Crypto-Assets (April 29, 2019). Lex Research Topics in Corporate Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2019-3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3379443 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3379443

Mark Fenwick

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

744 Motooka, Nishi-ku,
Fukuoka, Fukuoka 819-0395
Japan

Erik P.M. Vermeulen (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Business Law ( email )

Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) - Legal Department ( email )

Amstelplein 2
Amsterdam
Netherlands

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Kyushu University - Graduate School of Law ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, 812-8581
Japan

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