With the use of cryptocurrencies continuing to rise as more and more businesses accept them as payment, significant changes are anticipated in the way commerce works in the coming years, along with developments in the law to regulate the use of blockchain.
On Tuesday 14 May, Mishcon de Reya Associate and co-Lead of its Blockchain Group Anne Rose kicked off the first Tech London Advocates Blockchain Legal & Regulatory working group meeting. Anne has been selected to lead the group, which is supported by the Law Society, to convene legal blockchain experts to analyse the key legal and regulatory issues surrounding it and produce a report on the findings to the Law Society. Where applicable, the group will also feed into government white papers and consultations. Speakers will also be invited to help guide discussion. Ultimately, this should give companies and individuals access to knowledge in order to create new opportunities from blockchain, and to manage existing assets.
First, the group must establish what the key legal and regulatory challenges are. Several suggestions were put forward at the meeting, including questions over governance and potential cyber security and data protection issues. Specific issues such as these will be tackled by specialist sub-groups over the coming months. To assist with drafting best practice guidelines for smart contracts, there will also be a sub-group for technical lawyers to experiment with coding smart contracts and exploring the legal and organisational issues raised by agreements executed automatically using blockchain.
If you would like to find out more about the initiative, please contact Anne Rose. Otherwise, look out for further updates in the near future.