Pause the Blockchain Legal Revolution

(2020) 69(1) International & Comparative Law Quarterly 135-175

32 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2019 Last revised: 6 Apr 2020

See all articles by Kelvin F.K. Low

Kelvin F.K. Low

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Dr Eliza Mik

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law; TILT; Melbourne Law School

Date Written: June 20, 2019

Abstract

When bitcoin was released by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, few could have predicted that it would attract as much attention as it has today. It has spawned a veritable host of other cryptocurrencies, including ether on the upstart Ethereum network, which boasts smart contract functionality. The underlying blockchain technology has also attracted attention, with some within the blockchain community suggesting that it can solve such diverse problems as secured digital voting to tracking food provenance. In the legal context, blockchains have been envisaged as capable of revolutionizing registries for assets ranging from land to intellectual property, modernising clearing and settlement, and even fundamentally transforming the contracting process. This paper critically evaluates the popular claims surrounding the potential of blockchain technologies to disrupt the legal system by separating hype from fact.

Keywords: blockchain, asset registry, land registry, smart contracts, law reform, technology, fintech

JEL Classification: K11, K12

Suggested Citation

Low, Kelvin F.K. and Mik, Eliza, Pause the Blockchain Legal Revolution (June 20, 2019). (2020) 69(1) International & Comparative Law Quarterly 135-175, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439918

Kelvin F.K. Low (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

Eliza Mik

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

TILT ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Melbourne Law School ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Melbourne, VIC 3010
Australia

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