Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017 | Cyber Initiative

The conference will explore the use of formal methods, empirical analysis, and risk modeling to better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols.  The conference aims to foster multidisciplinary collaboration among practitioners and researchers in blockchain protocols, distributed systems, cryptography, computer security, and risk management.

Source: Blockchain Protocol Analysis and Security Engineering 2017 | Cyber Initiative

Smart contracts: terminology, technical limitations and real world complexity: Law, Innovation and Technology: Vol 9, No 2

If one is to believe the popular press and many “technical writings,” blockchains create not only a perfect transactional environment but also obviate the need for banks, lawyers and courts. The latter will soon be replaced by smart contracts: unbiased and infallible computer programs that form, perform and enforce agreements. Predictions of future revolutions must, however, be distinguished from the harsh reality of the commercial marketplace and the technical limitations of blockchains. The fact that a technological solution is innovative and elegant need not imply that it is commercially useful or legally viable. Apart from attempting a terminological “clean-up” surrounding the term smart contract, this paper presents some technological and legal constraints on their use. It confronts the popular claims concerning their ability to automate transactions and to ensure perfect performance. It also examines the possibility of reducing contractual relationships to code and the ability to integrate smart contracts with the complexities of the real world. A closer analysis reveals that smart contracts can hardly be regarded as a semi-mythical technology liberating the contracting parties from the shackles of traditional legal and financial institutions.

Source: Smart contracts: terminology, technical limitations and real world complexity: Law, Innovation and Technology: Vol 9, No 2

Blockchain, Law & Policy workshop February 12, 2018, Amsterdam

The Business Law and Economics Symposium, the Blockchain &
Society Policy Research Lab at IViR, and the Center for Law & Economics at ETH Zurich presents the  Blockchain, Law & Policy workshop.

Date:  February 12th, 2018 (8:30-17:15)

Location:  IViR Documentation Room, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, Roeterseilandcampus – building A, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, Amsterdam


8:30-9:00 BREAKFAST
9:00-9:15 Opening statement by Stefan Bechtold & Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

Session 1

9:15-10:15 Luis Garicano (LSE): The Governance of Blockchain: Hard Forks, Cryptocurrency and Norms
10:15-10:45 COFFEE BREAK
10:45-11:45 Davide Grossi (Groningen): A Social Choice-Theoretic Analysis of the Stellar Consensus Protocol
11:45-12:45 Stefan Bechtold (ETH Zurich) & Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci (UvA): Property Without Law: Personalized Property Rights Through New Contracting Technologies

12:45-14:00 LUNCH (served in the conference room)

14:00-14;45 Joris Cramwinckel (Ortec Finance, Rotterdam): Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts: Potential and Limits, with an Application to Pensions
14:45-15:45 Hermann Elendner (HU Berlin): Liquidity and Resiliency of Crypto-currency Markets

15:45:16:15 COFFEE BREAK
16:15-17:15 Balazs Bodo, Daniel Gervais and Joao Quintais (Amsterdam): Who Needs Copyright When We Have Blockchain and Smart Contracts?


See the detailed program and the abstracts here: Blockchain Program 2018

Curso experto legal en Blockchain, Smart Contracts e ICOs – 15 horas (24 – 26 enero 2018) – Blockchain España

Segunda edición del Curso experto Legal en blockchain, Smart Contracts e ICOs del 24 al 26 de enero de 2018Duración: 15 horas24 enero de 9.00-14.3025 enero de 17.00 – 22.0026 de enero de 9.30 a 14.00.Incluye dos Labs Prácticos, un caso de compraventa de vivienda en Smart contract y acceso a la comunidad de conocimiento de Blockchain España.PROGRAMA MÓDULO 1: Tecnología Blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum y principales retos jurídicos.MÓDULO 2: Identidad digitalLAB PRACTICO·         Cómo funciona el acceso·         Explora transacciones en una Blockchain.·         Usa una wallet.MÓDULO 3: Smart contracts.LAB PRACTICO·         Crear un Smart Contract con Solidity: Haz una compraventa de vivienda en Smart ContractMÓDULO 4: ICOS.MÓDULO 5: DAOs.**VER DETALLE DEL PROGRAMA ABAJOA QUIÉN VA DIRIGIDO?·         Abogados y profesionales del derecho.·         Miembros de la administración pública.·         Académicos y docentes.·         Empresas que estén valorando el lanzamiento de un proyecto Blockchain o una ICO.Precio 1.573 Euros (1300 + IVA)Inscripción: Envía un email a blockchainespana@gmail.comCurso presencial en Madrid. Espacio Impact Hub.

Source: Curso experto legal en Blockchain, Smart Contracts e ICOs – 15 horas (24 – 26 enero 2018) – Blockchain España

Book-Smart, Not Street-Smart: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts and The Social Workings of Law | Levy | Engaging Science, Technology, and Society

Book-Smart, Not Street-Smart: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts and The Social Workings of Law

Karen E. C. Levy



This paper critiques blockchain-based “smart contracts,” which aim to automatically and securely execute obligations without reliance on a centralized enforcement authority. Though smart contracts do have some features that might serve the goals of social justice and fairness, I suggest that they are based on a thin conception of what law does, and how it does it. Smart contracts focus on the technical form of contract to the exclusion of the social contexts within which contracts operate, and the complex ways in which people use them. In the real world, contractual obligations are enforced through all kinds of social mechanisms other than formal adjudication—and contracts serve many functions that are not explicitly legal in nature, or even designed to be formally enforced. I describe three categories of contracting practices in which people engage (the inclusion of facially unenforceable terms, the inclusion of purposefully underspecified terms, and willful nonenforcement of enforceable terms) to illustrate how contracts actually “work.” The technology of smart contracts neglects the fact that people use contracts as social resources to manage their relations. The inflexibility that they introduce, by design, might short-circuit a number of social uses to which law is routinely put. Therefore, I suggest that attention to the social and relational contexts of contracting are essential considerations for the discussion, development, and deployment of smart contracts.

ts and The Social Workings of Law | Levy | Engaging Science, Technology, and Society

Code is Law and the Quest for Justice | Ethereum Classic

People keep repeating the phrase “Code is Law” without clear understanding of what it’s supposed to mean. Some deliberately misinterpret it to mean that “ETC supports thieves and crooks” and similar nonsense. Let’s get some things straight. Code is law on the blockchain. In the sense, all executions and transactions are final and immutable. So, from our (Ethereum Classic supporters) standpoint by pushing the DAO hard fork EF broke the “law” in the sense that they imposed an invalid transaction state on the blockchain.This has nothing to do with contractual or criminal law, or other legal considerations. Stating that “code is law” is similar to acknowledging the laws of physics. The law of gravity says that when I push a piano out of a window, the piano will fall downwards. It does not mean that it’s necessarily “legal” for me to push that piano out of that window. And if I do so and the falling piano kills some passer-by, it would be insane for me to argue before the judge that I shouldn’t go to jail because I broke no laws of physics.On Ethereum blockchain, a Turing complete code operates with a very real and tangible value. Because of this, there is always a potential for mistakes and unintended outcomes. There will always be transactions and code execution results that someone is not happy about. There will be conflicts and disagreements, there will be code vulnerabilities and exploits, there will be scams and thefts, there will be all kinds of ugly things.Who should deal with all these conflicts? Let’s imagine for a moment that we decided ‘the blockchain community’ will take it upon itself to deal with it all.Who is going to make a call which on-chain code execution is “theft,” and which is not? Is this ponzi contract scammy enough to shut it down? Do we tolerate this dark market while it sells fake ids and marijuana, but draw the line once it starts to dabble in child porn and cocaine?Should there be a democratic voting system (moot court) to decide on these cases, changing the blockchain state based on such decisions? Should there be a committee that decides what smart contract behavior is ‘unacceptable’ and what transactions are ‘illegal’ enough to justify a hard fork?What may serve as a basis for such decisions? Where is the applicable body of law? Who is going to be the police, the judge and the jury? What is a due process? What is the appeal procedure? A lot of questions, and no good answers to these questions, when it comes to “blockchain justice”.But it’s even worse if there is no system at all. If ‘the blockchain community’ just makes a special exception in regards to a ‘special case’, choosing to administer justice ‘just this one time’. What is so special about this case, one may ask? Why does this theft get a special treatment, and the other thefts don’t? Who do you need to know, whose buddy do you need to be to get such exceptional treatment? How are you going to defend such preferential treatment against legal cases citing a precedent and subpoenas demanding reversal of specific transactions?It’s this whole snake’s nest that could be avoided by refusing to be dragged into conflict resolution and quest for justice as related to smart contract execution. And it only requires sticking to principles of blockchain neutrality and immutability.So, code is law on the blockchain. All executions are final, all transactions are immutable. For everything else, there is a time-tested way to adjudicate legal disputes and carry out the administration of justice. It’s called legal system.

Source: Code is Law and the Quest for Justice | Ethereum Classic

Trust, But Verify: Why the Blockchain Needs the Law by Kevin D. Werbach :: SSRN

The blockchain could be the most consequential development in information technology since the internet. Created to support the Bitcoin digital currency, the blockchain is actually something deeper: A novel solution to the age-old human problem of trust. Its potential is extraordinary. Yet without effective governance, this approach may not promote trust at all. Wholly divorced from legal enforcement, blockchain-based systems may be counterproductive or even dangerous. And they are less insulated from the law’s reach than it seems. The central question is not how to regulate blockchains, but how blockchains regulate. They may supplement, complement, or substitute for legal enforcement. Excessive or premature application of rigid legal obligations will stymie innovation and forego opportunities to leverage technology to achieve public policy objectives. Blockchain developers and legal institutions can work together. Each must recognize the unique affordances of the other system.

Source: Trust, But Verify: Why the Blockchain Needs the Law by Kevin D. Werbach :: SSRN