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Smart Contracts

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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…

Last Friday, August 3, Ohio became the latest U.S. state to formally recognize blockchain technology.  Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act states that “a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.”  It also provides that, “[a] signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.”  While these two provisions…

On 3 July 2018, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report outlining the prudential risks and opportunities arising from FinTech as part of its 2018 FinTech Roadmap. The report includes useful guidance on the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for trade finance and CDD (although the EBA is keen to note that the report should not be considered to provide an exhaustive list of possible prudential risks and opportunities that may arise.) Trade…

In Ukraine, two draft laws which aim to set out the legal basis for blockchain/cryptocurrency businesses in Ukraine have been proposed. The first draft law first submitted in October 2017 is concerned with taxation and provides for decreased corporate income tax, which is to be applied to margin earned on cryptocurrency deals (rather than turnover) and provides rules for the application of VAT. The latest draft law (reported here) seeks to define distributed ledger and smart contract…

Tennessee enacted a law yesterday that recognizes “the legal authority to use blockchain technology and smart contracts in conducting electronic transactions.” Under the new legislation, “A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.” With respect to smart contracts, the law defines it as “an event-driven program, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared, and replicated ledger and that can take custody…

In April 2017, England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a Discussion Paper (“DP”) on DLT which sought views on the regulatory implications of DLT developments in financial markets and considered the potential risks and benefits of DLT applications. The FCA received 47 responses to the DP from a range of market participants and on 15 December 2017 the FCA published its Feedback Statement. No need to change rules In its Feedback Statement, the FCA points…