News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for May 2nd, 2018

This Just In: Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code

You may have heard of Bitcoin and possibly some other digital crypto-currencies, including the concept of “mining” for coinsbut how do you “mine” money from ones and zeros? The answer is blockchain, which is a tool for creating secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer applications.

Blockchains are being used to create autonomous computer programs known as “smart contracts” to expedite payments and create financial instruments. The technology could affect governance itself by supporting new organizational structures that promote more democratic and participatory decision-making. The authors of Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code (found in the New Arrivals section near the library’s front entrance), Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright, acknowledge this potential and urge the law to catch up. Disintermediation, a blockchain’s greatest asset, cuts out middlemenincluding online and other large corporationsand thus can get around governmental regulation. Blockchains can stop or subvert the ability of governments to supervise banking, commerce, law, and other areas. The authors argue that blockchain cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking.