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Dan Relton

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On 3 January, 2020, Tang Sisi, the Vice-Chair of the Smart City Development Research Centre at China’s State Information Centre (CSIC) announced that a Blockchain Service Network (BSN) will launch for commercial purposes in April 2020. What is the BSN? The BSN is a state-backed national blockchain service infrastructure platform that spans public networks, regions and institutions. It was planned by CSIC and independently developed by China UnionPay, China Mobile and others. The BSN has…

In a letter published in November 2019, Sanjay Dhotre, India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) , stated that the Indian government is developing a National Level Blockchain Framework and is currently preparing an approach paper. The letter arose in response to a number of questions from MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma on what steps the government had taken to promote and encourage the use of blockchain technology and whether it had…

A number of recent developments in Ukraine have demonstrated the country’s focus on promoting a blockchain friendly ecosystem. At a government level, the recently established Ministry of Digital Transformation (MDT) (available in Ukrainian only) is actively promoting a friendly regulatory environment for blockchain/cryptocurrency projects in Ukraine, in both the public and private sectors. To further this aim, the MDT has kicked off various initiatives in order to promote blockchain, including recently hosting a meeting (available…

On May 7, 2019 the Liechtenstein government reported that it passed a motion to implement a new law on Tokens and VT Service Providers (generally referred to as the “Blockchain Act”). In recent times we have seen various European jurisdictions introduce regulation or publish regulatory guidance concerning specific aspects of blockchain technologies,  However, Liechtenstein considers that its  Blockchain Act is the first to create a holistic regulatory framework for the token economy. The reason the…

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (“UKJT”) recently published a consultation paper on the status of cryptoassets, DLT, and smart contracts under English private law. The UKJT is one of the six taskforces of the LawTech Delivery Panel created by the Law Society of England and Wales. The LawTech Delivery Panel was set up in October 2018 and is formed of a team of industry experts and leading figures from government and the judiciary, aimed at helping the…

On April 21, 2019, the English High Court ruled that it would have jurisdiction to hear the case of Ramona ANG v Reliantco Investments Ltd, following its determination that speculative investments, in this case Bitcoin futures, are not inherently a business activity. Therefore, the protections afforded to consumers under EU law (the Brussels Regulation (Recast) No 12/5/2012 (the “Regulation”) to bring claims via the courts in their own jurisdictions could apply to individual investors using…

Last month, the UK Law Commission (the “Commission”) launched a consultation paper as part of its latest project to address any uncertainty as to the formalities around the electronic execution of documents. Specifically, the consultation seeks views on the electronic execution of documents where legislation prescribes that a document must be signed or executed as a deed. In England and Wales there is a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to executing documents and…

The EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum (EBOF) launched in February 2018 has published its first thematic report outlining the current state of blockchain in Europe. It’s a pretty broad report, but does provide a helpful overview of progress to date and give some useful insight into the EU’s priorities. Europe: fertile ground for blockchain growth and innovation? EBOF views Europe as being in a prime position for blockchain technologies. The report outlines recent and ongoing…

Lithuania becomes the latest jurisdiction to release guidance in relation to ICOs. On 8 June 2018, the Lithuanian Government released new Guidelines to deal with what it referred to as an “explosion of ICOs” in the country.  Lithuania heralds itself as a leader in FinTech and has published the ICO Guidelines as a step towards more “certainty and transparency in the regulatory, taxation [and] accounting” requirements of ICOs, and also, importantly, to encourage the crypto…

On 11 June, the UK’s financial services regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), published a “Dear CEO letter” providing guidance on how banks should handle the financial crime risks associated with cryptoassets. The FCA is concerned that cryptoassets are being used in criminal activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing. The regulator expects banks to take reasonable and proportionate measures to lessen the risk of facilitating such crimes. The FCA notes that where banks…