Blockchain Neutrality

94 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2020 Last revised: 30 Jun 2021

See all articles by Samuel Weinstein

Samuel Weinstein

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Date Written: February 20, 2020

Abstract

Blockchain technology is transforming how markets work. Blockchains eliminate the need for trusted gatekeepers like banks to execute, verify, and record transactions. In the financial markets, their disruptive potential threatens both Wall Street banks and Silicon Valley venture capitalists. How blockchain technology is regulated will determine whether it encourages or inhibits competition. Some blockchain applications present serious fraud and systemic risks, complicating regulation. This Article explores the antitrust and competition policy challenges blockchain presents and proposes a regulatory strategy, modeled on Internet regulation and net neutrality principles, to unlock blockchain’s competitive potential. It contends that financial regulators should promote blockchain competition—and the resulting market decentralization—except in cases where specific applications are shown to harm consumers or threaten systemic safety. Regulators also should ensure open access and non-discrimination on dominant blockchain networks. This approach will not only serve traditional antitrust goals of lowering prices and promoting innovation, but it also might achieve broader economic and social reform by reducing the power and influence of the biggest financial institutions.

Keywords: Blockchain, Antitrust, Competition Policy, Regulation, Financial Services, Securities

Suggested Citation

Weinstein, Samuel, Blockchain Neutrality (February 20, 2020). 55 Georgia Law Review 499 (2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3540537

Samuel Weinstein (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States

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