The Law Society of England and Wales has published the second edition of its blockchain report in collaboration with the Tech London Advocates (TLA) Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Group.
Part 1 of the report covers the growing types and uses of distributed ledger techhnology (DLTs) and specifically crypto-assets including:
- how DLTs work
- public and private blockchains
- types of crypto-assets
- tokens, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and social tokens
Part 2 of the report covers topics such as:
- smart contracts
- data and governance
- blockchain consortia
- data protection
- intellectual property rights
- dispute resolution
- environmental, social and governance (ESG)
Lawyers in Baker McKenzie’s London office contributed a chapter in the report providing guidance on the practical challenges relating to creating effective blockchain consortia and multi-party contracting for blockchain use cases. As explained, when a group of companies come together to explore the development of an ambitious blockchain use case, it is often not the technical or legal issues that are the biggest challenges, but the age-old issue of how to get a group of different organizations to work together effectively to achieve their objective; even agreeing on what that objective should be can be trickier than one might think.
Although there are certainly some tricky legal issues to navigate when it comes to certain use cases involving blockchain and crypto-assets, particularly where there are grey areas because existing law was not designed for the technology (it almost never is), there are often analogous circumstances that can be drawn upon. But how to ensure effective governance and project management is a perennial issue on technology projects and continues to be a practical headache for ambitious multi-party technology projects.