Oxford University Business Law Blog: Blockchain Requires ‘A Radical Rethink’ of Regulations


Blog from Oxford Business Law Says Blockchain Requires “A Radical Rethink” of Regulations

Anastasios A. Antoniou published a post on the Oxford Business Law blog recently, where he discussed blockchain technology, which he believes is on “silent collision course.” Antoniou, who is a member of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, believes that the only way to allow blockchain technology to truly be embraced is to find a place for it in regulatory framework. He proposed a “radical rethink” of the current regulations that govern this technology.

Antoniou believes,

“The primary source of friction between blockchain and law can be traced to the implied proposition that code-driven frameworks running on blockchains can and should operate outside our jurisdictional legal orders. This is most clearly illustrated when considering the deployment of blockchain-based organizations running entirely on autonomous code, without human consensus.”

Going on, he spoke about how the current blockchain situation is being impacted by the lack of regulation. He said that the only way for blockchain to truly reach the heights that are expected of it are to abide by the right regulations. He wrote,

“If distributed ledger technology seeks to attain its full potential, it should not attempt to evade or circumvent law but rather find its place within a well-structured, relevant and versatile regulatory framework that will allow it to be exploited to its profound potential.”

Right now, the biggest blockchains in the world can’t seem to follow the laws, because the technology doesn’t meet its needs.

By having compliance and adoption with new regulatory measures, there would be more certainty and security for the technology as other markets introduce it. It also makes it possible to create new ecosystems, though the key to making these options into a possibility is to have legislation that supports the progress of blockchain, rather than halting it. While there aren’t regulations that specifically governing blockchain, there’s an inactive effort to still control it with efforts like Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering procedures.

This progression isn’t going to happen on its own. Developers need to take a place in the discussions and the efforts by getting involved in the governments that will dictate the future of blockchain. They will be the ones making progress on the technology and staying behind while regulators take over will only limit blockchain.

Deloitte, an auditing and consulting firm, spoke with CoinTelegraph in October, where they spoke about five different factors that blockchain will have to take on, if they plan to gain mass adoption. Based on an article from CoinTelegraph, those factors include:

  • The possibility of time-consuming operations
  • Lack of standardization
  • High costs and complexity blockchain applications
  • Regulatory uncertainty
  • The absence of collaboration between blockchain-related firms

Some experts in the industry believe that mass adoption for blockchain technology is far from imminent. Wall Street executive Mike Novogratz said that this adoption for both blockchain and cryptocurrency is “still five to six years away.” This prediction is primarily based on the lack of infrastructure in the tech industry, along with the conventional investors that are still apprehensive about both crypto and its ledger.

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