At the tip of the hype cycle, trust-free systems based on blockchain technology promise to revolutionize interactions between peers that require high degrees of trust, usually facilitated by third party providers. Peer-to-peer platforms for resource sharing represent a frequently discussed field of application for “trust-free” blockchain technology. However, trust between peers plays a crucial and complex role in virtually all sharing economy interactions. In this article, we hence shed light on how these conflicting notions may be resolved and explore the potential of blockchain technology for dissolving the issue of trust in the sharing economy. By means of a dual literature review we find that 1) the conceptualization of trust differs substantially between the contexts of blockchain and the sharing economy, 2) blockchain technology is to some degree suitable to replace trust in platform providers, and that 3) trust-free systems are hardly transferable to sharing economy interactions and will crucially depend on the development of trusted interfaces for blockchain-based sharing economy ecosystems.
The European Review of Private Law has a special issue on Smart contracts.
- ‘The Legal Meaning of Smart Contracts’, Riccardo De Caria, Issue 6, pp. 731–751
- ‘The Formation of Blockchain-based Smart Contracts in the Light of Contract Law’, Mateja Durovic, André Janssen, Issue 6, pp. 753–771
- ‘Interpretation of Contracts and Smart Contracts: Smart Interpretation or Interpretation of Smart Contracts?’, Michel Cannarsa, Issue 6, pp. 773–785
- ‘Force Majeure and Excuses in Smart Contracts’, Eric Tjong Tjin Tai, Issue 6, pp. 787–804
- ‘Quandary of Smart Contracts and Remedies: The Role of Contract Law and Self-Help Remedies’, Larry A. Dimatteo, Cristina Poncibó, Issue 6, pp. 805–824
- ‘Blockchain & Data Protection … and Why They Are Not on a Collision Course’, Lokke Moerel, Issue 6, pp. 825–851
- ‘Electronic Platforms: Openness, Transparency & Privacy Issues’, Eliza Mik, Issue 6, pp. 853–870
- ‘Contract Law and Smart Contracts: Property and Security Rights Issues’, Louis-Daniel Muka Tshibende, Issue 6, pp. 871–883
- ‘Smart Contracts as the (new) Power of the Powerless? The Stakes for Consumers’, Oscar Borgogno, Issue 6, pp. 885–902
- ‘Digital Platforms: Regulation and Liability in the EU Law’, Piotr Tereszkiewicz, Issue 6, pp. 903–920
- ‘Will Innovative Technology Result in Innovative Legal Frameworks? – Smart Contracts in China’, Jia Wang, Chen Lei, Issue 6, pp. 921–942
- ‘Smart Contracts: A Synoposis’, Linda Tissaoui, Joyling Liu, Dan M. Marcotte, Issue 6, pp. 943–949
This paper provides an analysis of how concepts pertinent to legal contracts can influence certain aspects of their digital implementation through smart contracts, as inspired by recent developments in distributed ledger technology. We discuss how properties of imperative and declarative languages including the underlying architectures to support contract management and lifecycle apply to various aspects of legal contracts. We then address these properties in the context of several blockchain architectures. While imperative languages are commonly used to implement smart contracts, we find that declarative languages provide more natural ways to deal with certain aspects of legal contracts and their automated management.
A new study that was undertaken by Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge, UK, came to some interesting conclusions about how blockchain could fit into the EU’s complex regulatory structure.
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.
With an increasing number of technologies supporting transactions over distance and replacing traditional forms of interaction, designing for trust in mediated interactions has become a key concern for researchers in human computer interaction (HCI). While much of this research focuses on increasing users’ trust, we present a framework that shifts the perspective towards factors that support trustworthy behavior. In a second step, we analyze how the presence of these factors can be signalled. We argue that it is essential to take a systemic perspective for enabling well-placed trust and trustworthy behavior in the long term. For our analysis we draw on relevant research from sociology, economics, and psychology, as well as HCI. We identify contextual properties (motivation based on temporal, social, and institutional embeddedness) and the actor’s intrinsic properties (ability, and motivation based on internalized norms and benevolence) that form the basis of trustworthy behavior. Our analysis provides a frame of reference for the design of studies on trust in technology-mediated interactions, as well as a guide for identifying trust requirements in design processes. We demonstrate the application of the framework in three scenarios: call centre interactions, B2C e-commerce, and voice-enabled on-line gaming.
This article departs from the post 2008 financial crisis context, from its intersection with technological developments, and from the socio-technical arrangements configured by this conjuncture. It explores plans and actions – of mainstream financial institutions, and of a community seeking for alternatives to centralised economy and governance – for the use of digital platforms supported by blockchain infrastructure. In particular, it explores how such plans and actions relate to conceptions of public and peer trust and how they appear to produce, or reinforce, reputational imaginaries and quantification practices within added value philosophies. By illuminating a tension between the two identified case examples, I seek to render alternative communities’ and financial institutions’ conceptions, imaginaries and practices (more) visible and to analyse their organisational marketing strategies – where there is a pragmatic and discursive operationalisation of technology as well as of trust as means to gain more self-sovereignty in action, while navigating markets and regulated actual world contexts.
THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing on “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.” The witnesses will be Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University Stern School of Business; and Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research, Coin Center.All hearings are webcast live and will not be available until the hearing starts. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
They seem not to notice the pattern: decentralized technology alone does not guarantee decentralized outcomes. When centralization arises elsewhere in an apparently decentralized system, it comes as a surprise or simply goes ignored.
The building of the blockchain is predicted to harken the end of the contemporary sovereign order. Some go further to claim that as a powerful decentering technology, blockchain contests the continued functioning of world capitalism. Are such claims merited? In this paper we consider sovereignty and blockchain technology theoretically, posing possible futures for sovereignty in a blockchain world. These possibilities include various forms of individual, popular, technological, corporate, and techno-totalitarian state sovereignty. We identify seven structural tendencies of blockchain technology and give examples as to how these have manifested in the construction of new forms of sovereignty. We conclude that the future of sovereignty in a blockchain world will be articulated in the conjuncture of social struggle and technological agency and we call for a stronger alliance between technologists and democrats.