Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg | UK Law Commission Announces Projects on Accommodating Smart Contracts and Digital Assets into English Law
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  • UK Law Commission Announces Projects on Accommodating Smart Contracts and Digital Assets into English Law
    09/21/2020
    The U.K. Law Commission has announced two new projects designed to ensure that English law is able to accommodate smart contracts and digital assets.

    Smart contracts are automated contracts such as distributed ledgers which are produced without human intervention. The Law Commission plans to investigate various questions arising from the use of smart contracts, including: (i) in what circumstances will contracts written in code be legally binding; (ii) how should smart contracts be interpreted by the courts; and (iii) what are the legal consequences of the code not performing as intended? The Law Commission is seeking input from the business and technology sectors and intends to publish a call for evidence in late 2020.

    Digital assets include Bitcoin and digitized documents that are now used in commercial transactions, for which existing English law may not be appropriate. The Law Commission intends firstly to consider the issue of possession, with a view to publishing a consultation paper in the first half of 2021.

    View the Law Commission's statement.

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    TOPIC: FinTech