Bitcoin Case Law

Recent judgements from France and England

In the video below I present two recent judgements regarding the proprietary status of bitcoins, one from France and one from England. 

Click here if you have trouble viewing the video.

This presentation is given in the context of the seminar ‘FinTech, Governance and Sustainability: Legal Obstacles and Regulatory Challenges‘, with discussion sessions scheduled on Wednesday 8 April 2020.

The full text of the judgements discussed in the presentation can be downloaded here:

The LawTech Delivery Panel’s ‘Legal statement on cryptoassets and smart contracts’, referred to in the presentation, can be downloaded here

FinTech, Governance and Sustainability: Legal Obstacles and Regulatory Challenges

Online FinTech Conference 8 April 2020

The seminar “FinTech, Governance and Sustainability: Legal Obstacles and Regulatory Challenges” was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It will be held online.

The presentations will be pre-recorded and disseminated to participants.

A live discussion of these presentations will take place on Wednesday 8 April 13:30-15:45 Brussels time via Zoom. The programme can be found below.

Participation is free, but you are kindly asked to register by Sunday 5 April via https://www.law.kuleuven.be/apps/activiteiten/en/portaal/index/view_activiteit/5158. Continue reading “FinTech, Governance and Sustainability: Legal Obstacles and Regulatory Challenges”

The Market for LemonCoins

LSE Professor tells incovenient truth about blockchain

A paper entitled ‘Cloud Crypto Land’ was posted today on SSRN by LSE’s Edmund-Philipp Schuster.

Professor Schuster argues that features present in all major legal systems mean that real-world assets (such as company shares or real estate) cannot be traded on blockchain-based systems, unless design choices are made which necessarily remove all advantages the technology offers over existing solutions.

Read the paper here.

ECB Uncovers Philosopher’s Stone

Crypto-assets do not represent financial claims or proprietary rights, ECB says

Last month, the ECB Crypto-Assets Task Force released a paper entitled “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy and payments and market infrastructures.” One of the goals of the paper is to put forward a common definition of the term ‘crypto-assets’ that can serve as a basis for the consistent analysis of this phenomenon.

A ‘crypto-asset’ is defined in the paper as denoting “any asset recorded in digital form that is not and does not represent either a financial claim on, or a financial liability of, any natural or legal person, and which does not embody a proprietary right against an entity.” 

The distinctive feature of crypto-assets,” the task force continues, “from which they derive their specific risk profile, is the lack of an underlying claim/liability. Units of a crypto-asset may be used as a means of exchange and are de-facto considered by their users as assets, in the sense of ‘something of value’, although they do not correspond to the liability of, and claim on, any party. As a consequence, crypto-assets are fundamentally different from various forms of financial claims and/or their digital representation using the technology and possibly the infrastructure that underpin crypto-assets.” 

Crypto-assets fall outside the scope of PSD2, EMD2 and MiFID II

Building on its analysis and definition of crypto-assets, the task force notes the following:

  • Crypto-assets are not electronic money within the meaning of EMD2.
  • Nor are crypto-assets scriptural money in the form of commercial bank money or central bank money.
  • Therefore, crypto-assets do not fall within the scope of PSD2.
  • Furthermore, crypto-assets in itself are not ‘financial instruments’ within the meaning of MiFID II.