Low, Schuster & Wan on The Company and Blockchain Technology

Kelvin F.K. Low (NUS – Faculty of Law), Edmund Schuster (London School of Economics – Law School), and Wai Yee Wan
(City University of Hong Kong) have posted “The Company and Blockchain Technology” (Elgar Handbook on Corporate Liability, forthcoming).

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) has generated much excitement over the past decade, with proclamations that it would disrupt everything from elections to finance. Unsurprisingly, the much-maligned corporate form is also considered ripe for disruption. While certainly imperfect, and currently serviced by creaking legal infrastructure premised upon direct shareholdings, are its problems ones of centralization/intermediation? What exactly are the limits of DLT? In this chapter, we propose to expose the ignorance behind the hype that the venerable corporation will either be revitalized by DLT or replaced by Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs). We will demonstrate that proponents of DLT disruption either overestimate the potential of the technology by taking at face value its claims of security without unpacking what said security entails (and what it does not) or lack awareness of the history of and market demand for intermediation as well as the complexities of modern corporations.

Wang & Buckley on The Coming Central Bank Digital Currency Revolution and the E-CNY

Heng Wang (Singapore Management University – Yong Pung How School of Law; University of New South Wales (UNSW) – Faculty of Law & Justice) and Ross P. Buckley (University of New South Wales (UNSW) – Faculty of Law & Justice) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The only central bank money individuals and businesses have today is cash. Everything else they use as money is commercial bank promises. Central bank digital currencies (CBDC) will likely change all this by putting central bank money into everyone’s hands. China is a front runner in this revolution, and its CBDC, the e-CNY, may well in time profoundly affect the international economic order. This article analyses the major considerations around the e-CNY, its ramifications in particular for trade, and its possible challenges.

Tan on Transnational Transactions on Cryptoasset Exchanges: A Conflict of Laws Perspective

Shao Wei Tan (National University of Singapore) has posted “Transnational Transactions on Cryptoasset Exchanges: A Conflict of Laws Perspective” (Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Sep 2022, pp 384-422) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Cryptoassets, now in the mainstream with significant retail and institutional ownership, can be purchased on cryptoasset exchanges online from around the world. Correspondingly, disputes involving transnational cryptoasset transactions—which have already begun to crop up in the US – are likely to become increasingly common in Singapore given its status as a global financial hub. The problem, however, is that there is no global consensus on how to determine the applicable law for transnational transactions on cryptoasset exchanges. This lack of consensus engenders unnecessary uncertainty as to the disputing parties’ rights and obligations, which in turn has significant implications for issuers, potential investors, regulators, and even the entire financial system. Building on the shortcomings of existing conflict of laws solutions in other jurisdictions, this article proposes a conflict of laws solution to this problem for the Singapore courts. The solution entails (1) recognising that the problem should be dealt with using a choice-of-law approach, (2) creating a new category of issues, ‘market issues’, as which issues may be collectively characterised, and (3) choosing only the lex mercatus for issues characterised as market issues.