Law blog says ‘radical rethink’ of blockchain regulation is imperative

October 03, 2018
Chris Wheal

A radical rethink of regulation is imperative to bridge the divide between code and law in blockchain according to a member of the EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum, Policy and Framework Working Group.

Regulation

Anastasios A  Antoniou, a Partner at Antoniou McCollum & Co, said that code and law have been entangled in a silent tension ever since the advent of cyberspace and the latest manifestation of this tension, however, appears to be opening up a Pandora’s box.  Blockchain and law are on a silent collision course that must be addressed.

In a blog post published in the Oxford Business Law, he said that the primary source of friction between blockchain and law can be traced to the implied proposition that code-driven frameworks running on blockchains can and should operate outside our jurisdictional legal orders.

According to Antoniou, blockchain presents an ambitious, yet not unattainable prospect, of being the first technological development since the advent of the Internet that could give rise to entirely new ecosystems of economic activity.

Despite its potential to render aspects of current legal tools redundant, blockchain needs stability and predictability and different blockchains will require different treatment in law.

He concluded: “The adoption of new rules is crucial in order to provide legal certainty to the markets and avoid impeding emerging ecosystems and stifling technological development. Nevertheless, any new rules should serve to recognise and uphold the effects of transacting on blockchains.

“It is for this reason that blockchain developers should inform the law’s response to code by engaging with legislators and regulators.”

 

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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