Bird & Bird launches an international report on the potential application of blockchains and the criteria for fresh regulation


International law firm Bird & Bird today launches a report, "Blockchains uncut: risks, rewards and regulations" which explores the potential application of blockchain technologies and highlights where new regulation may be needed.

The report outlines the various issues that businesses are facing now and will face in the coming years. It explains the technology, its advantages and disadvantages and examines some of the legal considerations and how they apply across certain jurisdictions.

A general theme throughout the report, in determining the way ahead for blockchain technologies, is that there is a need for governments and regulators to draw a distinction between where new regulation is genuinely needed to minimise risk and provide protection, and where existing laws and regulations already meet those criteria. The report discusses how fresh regulation, when it comes, should aim to provide confidence, stability, and certainty for blockchain users in financial services and other sectors.

Jonathan Emmanuel, partner in the Financial Services practice at Bird & Bird says: "Blockchains are widely regarded as one of the most important technologies of the future, with the potential to disrupt a wide range of industries. Venture capitalist investment in blockchain start-ups has surged. More and more blockchain projects are moving from the R&D phase towards real life adoption.  It's an exciting time and we expect this space to grow tremendously over the next few years. However, blockchain technologies are still in their infancy – this report aims to decipher both the technical and legal issues so project sponsors can ask the right questions and make informed decisions."

The report is part of Bird & Bird’s international blockchain initiative led by Jonathan Emmanuel (London) with contributions from partners Christian Bartsch (London, Financial Services), Trystan Tether (London, Financial Services),  Zoe Feller (London, Tax), Tim Harris (London, IP)  Simon Shooter (London, Commercial)  Jonathan Speed (London, Dispute Resolution), Jose Luis Lorente Howell (Spain, Financial Services) , Lupe Sampedro (Spain, Data Protection) Slawomir Szepietowski (Poland, Financial Services), Martin von Haller Grønbæk (Denmark, Commercial), Kim Kit Ow (Singapore, Financial Services), Michael Juenemann (Germany,  Financial Services), Counsel Karen Berg (The Netherlands, Commercial) and associate Andrew Rink (London, Tax).  

You can download Blockchains uncut: risks, rewards and regulations here.  To find out more, click here to view our videos and articles on blockchain.