Alexandra Giannopoulou was recently interviewed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine, on the topic of blockchain research in academia.
She discussed the European Union’s interest in blockchain research highlighting the example of decentralized identity, all within the broader challenge of trust in and through digital technologies.
Find the article online here (in German).
Alexandra and Valeria participated at Gikii 2019 organised at Queen Mary University of London on 9-10 September 2019.
Valeria focused on the issues raised by Libra’s promise to create a decentralized and permissionless financial ecosystem open to anyone. Alexandra addressed the dystopic future of having a decentralized and portable digital identity standard provided by Facebook.
The presentation can be found online here
Blockchain&Society Policy Research Lab Lunchtime talk
The Lab organised another iteration of the Lunchtime talks at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) on 6 September 2019.
Andres Guadamuz presented on the topic of his recently published paper entitled “All watched over by machines of loving grace: A critical look at smart contracts”.
Smart contracts are coded parameters written into an immutable distributed ledger called a blockchain. There has been increasing legal interest in the application of these self-executing programs to conduct transactions. Most of the scholarly and practical analysis so far has been taken the claims of this technology being akin to a contract at face value, with legal analysis of contract formation, performance, and enforcement at the forefront of the debate. This article discusses that while smart contracts may pose some interesting legal questions, most of these are irrelevant, and smart contracts should be understood almost strictly from a technical perspective, and that any legal response is entirely dependent on the technical capabilities of the smart contract. The article proposes that smart contracts are not contracts for all practical purposes.
Dr Andres Guadamuz is a Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Sussex and the Editor in Chief of the Journal of World Intellectual Property. His main research areas are on digital copyright, open licensing, software protection, cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and complexity. Andres has published two books, the most recent one of which is “Networks, Complexity and Internet Regulation”, and he regularly blogs at Technollama.co.uk. He has acted as an international consultant for the World Intellectual Property Organization, and since 2005, he has been involved with Creative Commons Scotland (while lecturer at University of Edinburgh and Associate Director of the SCRIPT Centre), Costa Rica and now the UK.
The presentation slides are available online.
Professors from seven U.S. colleges including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley have teamed up to create a digital currency that they hope can achieve speeds Bitcoin users can only dream of without compromising on its core tenant of decentralization. The Unit-e, as the virtual currency is called, is the first initiative of Distributed Technology Research, a non-profit foundation formed by the academics with backing from hedge fund Pantera Capital Management LP to develop decentralized technologies.
Facebook’s Calibra cryptocurrency is on its way.
It’s mission is to “enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people”.
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What is the economic potential and the risks of crypto assets? Regulators and supervisors have taken great interest in these new markets. This Policy Contribution is a version of a paper written at the request of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the informal ECOFIN meeting of EU finance ministers and central bank governors.
A report has claimed that GDPR could hinder innovation in blockchain within Europe. If that is right, then this could be enough to ensure that the technology stars of tomorrow, the next Amazons or Googles, won’t be European. The report did hint at the opportunity, however. Blockchain could be as transformative for business as the internet, at least nine out of ten technology professionals think that, or so found a survey by BTL Group.
Balazs was speaking at the The Future of Digital Innovation in the European Union conference about policy issues of blockchain technology.
The conference was organized by the College of Europe on the 10th of April 2018.
Here is the prezi of the talk:
Andrea Renda is the Google Chair in Digital Innovation at the College of Europe. The event was the first of a series of annual conferences on Digital Innovation.
The outline of the event is the following:
Digital innovation is permeating a big portion of the economy, reshaping the way we live, work, interact. Two paradigms currently stand out as potentially disruptive: the emergence of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) such as blockchain, and the increasingly pervasive use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in a variety of applications, from e-commerce to self-driving cars. Policymakers find it increasingly difficult to keep track of this evolution given the breathtaking pace of innovation, and the challenge of dealing with algorithms, collective intelligence, and often a patchy and uncertain set of legal rules. The College of Europe Chair in Digital Innovation organizes a one-day conference to discuss the challenges and opportunities for innovation in the digital age. Key themes addressed by the conference:
- What are the key opportunities and challenges of DLTs and Artificial Intelligence?
- Is Europe competitive in the deployment of these technologies?
- What new forms of innovation may emerge from the diffusion of these disruptive technologies?
- Is the EU legal system well-equipped to cope with the peculiarities of these technologies?
- What can the EU do to harness the potential of DLTs and Artificial Intelligence to strengthen the Single Market and promote better economic, social and environmental outcomes?
The 2017 paper A Cross-Sectional Overview of Cryptoasset Governance and Implications for Investors is a master’s thesis covering governance structures in the industry. It has a useful survey of the top 50 circulating cryptoassets by network value (as of July 29, 2017) with detailed analysis of the governance models on display. The paper is aimed at educating investors about the relative lack of shareholder (tokenholder) rights in the industry. It also discusses a few of the functioning models of cryptoasset governance.