ABOUT THIS BOOK
“Blockchains will matter crucially; this book, beautifully and clearly written for a wide audience, powerfully demonstrates how.”
“Attempts to do for blockchain what the likes of Lawrence Lessig and Tim Wu did for the Internet and cyberspace—explain how a new technology will upend the current legal and social order… Blockchain and the Law is not just a theoretical guide. It’s also a moral one.”
Bitcoin has been hailed as an Internet marvel and decried as the preferred transaction vehicle for criminals. It has left nearly everyone without a computer science degree confused: how do you “mine” money from ones and zeros?
The answer lies in a technology called blockchain. A general-purpose tool for creating secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer applications, blockchain technology has been compared to the Internet in both form and impact. Blockchains are being used to create “smart contracts,” to expedite payments, to make financial instruments, to organize the exchange of data and information, and to facilitate interactions between humans and machines. But by cutting out the middlemen, they run the risk of undermining governmental authorities’ ability to supervise activities in banking, commerce, and the law. As this essential book makes clear, the technology cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking.
“If you…don’t ‘get’ crypto, this is the book-length treatment for you.”
—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
“De Filippi and Wright stress that because blockchain is essentially autonomous, it is inflexible, which leaves it vulnerable, once it has been set in motion, to the sort of unforeseen consequences that laws and regulations are best able to address.”
—James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review
An important new book…[It] attempts to do for blockchain what the likes of Lawrence Lessig and Tim Wu did for the Internet and cyberspace—explain how a new technology will upend the current legal and social order…A fine, deeply-researched book that can be expected to show up on law school syllabi for years to come…Blockchain and the Law is not just a theoretical guide. It’s also a moral one.
-- Jeff John Roberts Fortune
Blockchain and the Law perfectly links technical understanding with practical and legal implications. Blockchains will matter crucially; this book, beautifully and clearly written for a wide audience, powerfully demonstrates how.
-- Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School
Useful to an educated readership…If you…don’t ‘get’ crypto, this is the book-length treatment for you. It sees merit and potential in crypto, without buying into any particular claim just for the sake of hype.
-- Tyler Cowen Marginal Revolution
De Filippi and Wright stress that because blockchain is essentially autonomous, it is inflexible, which leaves it vulnerable, once it has been set in motion, to the sort of unforeseen consequences that laws and regulations are best able to address.
-- James Ryerson New York Times Book Review
De Filippi and Wright offer neither a jeremiad nor a gospel; unlike the breathlessness that pervades much writing on blockchain technology, they stick to sensibleness and sobriety.
-- Nathan Schneider America
Explores the implications of the technology in its broadest sense, positioning it in context of the evolution of the internet, and the development of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems which are continually touching more areas of our daily lives…A fascinating and comprehensive read that poses many questions we should debate and settle before blockchain technology becomes ubiquitous.
At long last—a deeply researched, thoughtful, and measured analysis of blockchain technology and the policies that could help us harvest its opportunities and avoid its pitfalls. Blockchain and the Law should be required reading for anyone serious about understanding this major emerging element of our technological ecosystem.
-- Yochai Benkler, author of The Wealth of Networks
A well-written and comprehensive book that cuts through the blockchain hype. It not only highlights the powers and limitations of blockchain technology, but solidly grounds it in a larger social and legal context.
-- Bruce Schneier, author of Data and Goliath
If you are looking to understand the intricacies of the relationship between the law and blockchain technology, then this book should be on your list…[It] makes it clear that regulators must redefine their approach because restrictive regulations will stifle the growth of the industry.
-- Alexander Lielacher BTCManager
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Blockchains, Bitcoin, and Decentralized Computing Platforms
Characteristics of Blockchains
Blockchains, Finance, and Contracts
Digital Currencies and Decentralized Payment Systems
Smart Contracts as Legal Contracts
Smart Securities and Derivatives
Blockchains and Information Systems
Tamper-Resistant, Certified, and Authenticated Data
Resilient and Tamper-Resistant Information Systems
Organizations and Automation
The Future of Organizations
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
Blockchain of Things
Regulating Decentralized, Blockchain-Based Systems
Modes of Regulation
Code as Law