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Blockchain for Off-Chain Assets and the Need for Legal Impurities

Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 from 18:15 to 20:30 (CET)

Blockchain for Off-Chain Assets and the Need for Legal...

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Blockchain for Off-Chain Assets and the Need for Legal Impurities


The Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London, is pleased to announce the fifth seminar of the series in Paris on Regulating Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things.
This seminar on Blockchain will be presented by Chris Reed, Professor of Electronic Commerce Law at Queen Mary University of London.


Blockchain technology allows the creation of distributed ledgers. These distribute control among the players rather than requiring a centralised database, and so can reduce costs and speed up transactions. However, when it is used for assets which exist outside the blockchain itself, an unmodified adoption of the technology would bypass legal and regulatory requirements which, for these kinds of assets, cannot be bypassed without fundamental change to the law.

Building those requirements into any blockchain-based system introduces features which are not necessary for performing its core functions, and we call these 'legal impurities'. The most important legal impurities required are those relating to identification of the parties, and introducing the ability of a trusted third party to make modifications to the ledger. Not only does introducing these legal impurities make fundamental changes to the concept behind blockchain, but it is also essential that they are implemented in ways which do not threaten the integrity of the blockchain as evidence.

Date:                     Tuesday 23 January 2018

Time:                     18h30 (accueil from 18h15)

Location:               9 - 11 rue de Constantine, Paris 7e
The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception, as of 20h.

In collaboration with the Association Française des Juristes d'Entreprise.


About the Speaker

Chris Reed is a member of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS). He joined the Centre in 1987 and is responsible for the University of London LLM courses in Information Technology Law, Internet Law, Electronic Banking Law and Telecommunications Law. Chris has published widely on many aspects of computer law and research in which he was involved led to the EU directives on electronic signatures and on electronic commerce. From 1997-2000, Chris was Joint Chairman of the Society for Computers and Law, and in 1997-8 he acted as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. Chris participated as an Expert at the European Commission/Danish Government Copenhagen Hearing on Digital Signatures, represented the UK Government at the Hague Conference on Private International Law and has been an invited speaker at OECD and G8 international conferences. He is a former Director of CCLS, and from 2004 to 2009 was Academic Dean of the Faculty of Law & Social Sciences.

Do you have questions about Blockchain for Off-Chain Assets and the Need for Legal Impurities? Contact Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

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When & Where

University of London Institute in Paris
9 - 11 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 from 18:15 to 20:30 (CET)

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Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

In 1980, Sir Roy Goode created the Centre for Commercial Law Studies to promote the systematic study and research of national and international commercial law and its social and economic implications. It also works to develop a body of knowledge, information and skills that can be placed at the service of government, public bodies, overseas institutions, the legal profession, industry and commerce. In its research and teaching, the Centre focuses strongly on the global development of international commercial law.

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies is especially well placed to undertake this mission. Lincoln's Inn Fields is in the heart of legal London and only a short flight from Brussels, the administrative capital of the European Union. Members of academic staff are drawn from all parts of the world. A particular feature of our research and teaching is the participation of leading lawyers working in the finance centres of the City. Their cutting edge practical experience, combined with the academic credentials of our faculty, allow us to create a superbly balanced educational programme.

CCLS is a dedicated postgraduate centre offering LLM, MSc, Diploma and Certificate programmes in the various aspects of commercial law. The Centre currently has 28 academic members of staff and 136 registered research students on the PhD programme, giving the Queen Mary School of Law 63 members of academic staff and 222 doctoral researchers in total.

The Centre is international in composition and outlook. It is able to draw on the input of distinguished resident and visiting scholars from overseas and to engage in comparative examination of the legal systems of other countries. This gives our students an exceptionally rich study environment. We take particular care to ensure that the excellence of our academic programme is combined with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere within the Centre. We pay special attention to the needs of overseas students or visitors from overseas.

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Blockchain for Off-Chain Assets and the Need for Legal Impurities
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