Some Reflections on the Nature of Decentralized (Autonomous) Organizations

38 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2021

See all articles by Michael Schillig

Michael Schillig

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: September 1, 2021

Abstract

Blockchain technology allows the creation of software-based organizations that can interact with third parties by deterministically executing software code with limited human input. These ‘decentralized (autonomous) organizations’ consist of an interconnected system of ‘smart contracts:’ computer programmes stored and executed automatically on a decentralized network of participating computers. DAOs replicate to some extent the features traditionally reserved for corporate-type entities. This raises the question of whether and to what extent the law should accommodate these phenomena, by opening up general incorporation laws or providing new organizational forms. The current chapter seeks to contribute to answering this question by taking a critical look at the debate on the nature of the corporation from a historical and comparative perspective with a view to evaluating its relevance for the technological innovations of the 21st century.

Keywords: DAO, Blockchain, nexus of contract, real entity, fiction

JEL Classification: K10, K22

Suggested Citation

Schillig, Michael, Some Reflections on the Nature of Decentralized (Autonomous) Organizations (September 1, 2021). King's College London Law School Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3915843 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3915843

Michael Schillig (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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