Blockchain—key legal and regulatory issues
Produced in partnership with John Salmon of Hogan Lovells
Blockchain—key legal and regulatory issues

The following TMT guidance note Produced in partnership with John Salmon of Hogan Lovells provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Blockchain—key legal and regulatory issues
  • What is blockchain?
  • What can blockchain be used for?
  • Smart contracts
  • Decentralised autonomous organisations
  • Initial coin offerings
  • What approach are the industry and legal sectors taking to blockchain?
  • Identifying legal and regulatory issues
  • Immaturity of the technology
  • Decentralisation and the applicable law
  • more

Blockchain has erupted into mainstream consciousness with multiple consultations and discussions by regulators underway or completed around the world. Significant investment has been aimed at releasing the efficiencies and capturing the new business models which it is anticipated to offer.

Much of the focus to date has been on the technical and commercial aspects. But for blockchain to realise its full potential it will need to navigate the legal and regulatory environments in which it will operate.

The range of potential use cases means that this Practice Note is, by necessity, a roadmap to understanding the key legal and regulatory issues which typically arise in relation to blockchain rather than a set of definitive answers. The detail of the legislation applicable to a blockchain solution will depend on the function it seeks to fulfil and the market in which it operates.

This Practice Note includes the following sections, among others:

  1. What is blockchain?

  2. What can blockchain be used for?

  3. Smart contracts

  4. Decentralised autonomous organisations

  5. Initial coin offerings

  6. What approach are the industry and legal sectors taking to blockchain?

  7. Identifying legal and regulatory issues

  8. Decentralisation and the applicable law

  9. Competition law

  10. Taxation

  11. Governance

What is blockchain?

The term blockchain is commonly used to refer to software technology which enables the creation and operation of a shared, typically decentralised database in which time-stamped data entries