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Cryptoassets, DLT and smart contracts – UK Jurisdiction Taskforce consultation

9 May 2019

Do you have an interest in the status of cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts under English private law? Would you benefit from clarification on how they will affect you and your business?

With the aim of providing clarity on this area, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) has published a consultation paper to identify key issues of legal uncertainty regarding cryptoassets, DLT and smart contracts.

How to get involved:

  • Attend our public event with the UKJT to discuss the consultation questions on 4 June 2019 at Barclays Rise, London.
  • Respond to the consultation questions below by 21 June 2019.

The UKJT and its objectives

The UKJT is one of the six taskforces of the LawTech Delivery Panel. Its objective is to demonstrate that English law and the jurisdiction of England and Wales together provide a state-of-the-art foundation for the development of DLT, smart contracts and associated technologies.

The UKJT is coordinating the preparation of an authoritative legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law. The intention is that the legal statement will either demonstrate that English private law already provides sufficiently certain foundations, or highlight particular areas of uncertainty that may need to be clarified.

“Smart contracts will only finally take off when market participants and investors have confidence in them.

“Mainstream investors still need to be convinced that their legal rights can be protected when they trade in cryptoassets and enter into smart contracts.

“The UKJT believes that perceived legal uncertainty is the reason for some lack of confidence. For that reason, the UKJT has launched this public consultation to identify the key legal questions that need to be answered. The answers to those legal questions will provide a dependable foundation for the mainstream utilisation of cryptoassets and smart legal contracts.”

Chancellor to the High Court, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos, chair of the UKJT

Purpose of the consultation

The consultation seeks input from stakeholders on the principal issues of perceived legal uncertainty about the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law, to inform what should be addressed in the legal statement.

In Annex 1 (Questions to be addressed in the Legal Statement) of the consultation paper, we have set out what the UKJT considers to be these principal issues.

Download the consultation paper (PDF 611 KB)

How to get involved

For the legal statement to serve its purpose, it must address those issues that market participants themselves are most concerned with.

We hope that many people in the technological and legal sectors will find time to participate in this consultation.

  • To respond to the consultation questions, please review the consultation paper and complete the form below, or email UKJT@justice.gov.uk, by the closing date of 21 June 2019.
  • To register to attend the public event (see more details below), please complete the form below.

Public event, 4 June, London

As part of this consultation, the UKJT will be hosting a public event. The event will take place on 4 June 2019 at Barclays Rise, 41 Luke St, London EC2A 4DP from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

During the session, members of the UKJT will discuss the background to the list of questions set out in Annex 1 to the consultation paper and will give attendees the opportunity to respond to the consultation questions in person.

Response form: consultation question and public event

 
LawTech Delivery Panel