Authors

Becky L. Jacobs

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law

Abstract

In her article, “Beyond Bitcoin: Leveraging Blockchain to Benefit Business and Society,” Professor Weldon explores the potential of blockchain technology to transform corporate governance and risk management and to promote the principles of transparency that animate various mandatory
disclosure regimes.

I too am very excited by blockchain’s potential to revolutionize and make more transparent many business practices, but I also have some, pun intended, crypto-concerns. I admit that these concerns are based upon Blockchain technology interacts with the law in a number of contexts, corporate governance being one (as well as copyright and other IP, tax, antitrust, securities regulation, banking, criminal, corporate, maritime, insurance, and on and on), and it raises questions about the very nature of what blockchain technology can represent, such as Bitcoin, zencash, Ether, or other cryptocurrencies or currency-related products. Are these currencies “property” as traditionally conceptualized? Are they legally-defined securities, as another article in this symposium explores? Scholars, lawyers, and policy makers are grappling very publicly with these questions alongside IT professionals. This intense interest is obvious; if you search Google with the term “Blockchain” returns “About 219,000,000 results (0.39 seconds)[.]” There also are hundreds of scholarly articles that discuss blockchain questions on research networks.

I will focus on just a few concerns. The first is on the “smart contracting” aspect of blockchain technology, and the second pertains to its current negative environmental impact. My concluding remarks will touch upon the concept of “transparency” in the promotion of blockchain technology in the legal context.

Publication Date

2019

Included in

Law Commons

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