The Blockchain Observatory and Forum of the European Union (EUBOF), an initiative of the European Commission to accelerate the development of blockchain in the European Union (EU), has published a new report named “Legal and regulatory framework of blockchains and smart contracts”. The paper highlights the typical legal issues which often arise from the current use of the blockchain-technology (including smart contracts). It entails some useful solutions that lawmakers and international regulators may implement to overcome the challenges between the typical technological features of the blockchain and the current regulatory framework of most EU member states.
In order to further promote blockchain innovation in the EU, the EUBOF has formulated eight guiding principles for lawmakers and international regulators:
- Formulation of clear and simple definitions of blockchain and smart contracts, in order to reach a shared definition in the entire EU
- Communication of the legal interpretation in the entire EU
- Choosing the right approach for blockchain when regulating blockchain and smart contracts
- Harmonization of blockchain and smart contract regulation throughout the entire EU
- Helping international law makers and regulators to develop a good understanding of the blockchain technology
- Working on high-impact use cases
- Monitoring developments in less mature use cases and encouraging of self-regulation
- Making use of blockchain as a regulatory tool
As blockchain technology becomes more and more widely used in supporting new types of decentralized applications and platforms, the EUBOF states that lawmakers and regulators will increasingly find themselves faced with challenging legal questions. The EUBOF considers these challenges as healthy and to be welcomed as part of the natural processes of change on society and law. The complete report can be found here.
Blockchain & Law event
In response to the huge importance of legal and regulatory developments in the history of blockchain, we at PwC Legal Switzerland have organized an intensive afternoon Blockchain & Law event featuring some of the brightest and best-informed minds on both sides of the blockchain fence. We hope you’ll join us on 5 November 2019 at Trust Square in Zurich. More information about the event can be found here.