Blockchain and the Law

Blockchain and the Law : The Rule of Code

3.91 (128 ratings by Goodreads)
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Since Bitcoin appeared in 2009, the digital currency has been hailed as an Internet marvel and decried as the preferred transaction vehicle for all manner of criminals. It has left nearly everyone without a computer science degree confused: Just how do you "mine" money from ones and zeros?

The answer lies in a technology called blockchain, which can be used for much more than Bitcoin. A general-purpose tool for creating secure, decentralized, peer-to-peer applications, blockchain technology has been compared to the Internet itself in both form and impact. Some have said this tool may change society as we know it. Blockchains are being used to create autonomous computer programs known as "smart contracts," to expedite payments, to create financial instruments, to organize the exchange of data and information, and to facilitate interactions between humans and machines. The technology could affect governance itself, by supporting new organizational structures that promote more democratic and participatory decision making.

Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright acknowledge this potential and urge the law to catch up. That is because disintermediation-a blockchain's greatest asset-subverts critical regulation. By cutting out middlemen, such as large online operators and multinational corporations, blockchains run the risk of undermining the capacity of governmental authorities to supervise activities in banking, commerce, law, and other vital areas. De Filippi and Wright welcome the new possibilities inherent in blockchains. But as Blockchain and the Law makes clear, the technology cannot be harnessed productively without new rules and new approaches to legal thinking.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 5 graphs
  • 0674976428
  • 9780674976429
  • 235,297

Review quote

"An important new book...[It] attempts to do for blockchain what the likes of Lawrence Lessig and Tim Wu did for the Internet and cyberspace-explain how a new technology will upend the current legal and social order...A fine, deeply-researched book that can be expected to show up on law school syllabi for years to come...Blockchain and the Law is not just a theoretical guide. It's also a moral one."-Jeff John Roberts, Fortune "Blockchain and the Law perfectly links technical understanding with practical and legal implications. Blockchains will matter crucially; this book, beautifully and clearly written for a wide audience, powerfully demonstrates how."-Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School "Useful to an educated readership...If you...don't 'get' crypto, this is the book-length treatment for you. It sees merit and potential in crypto, without buying into any particular claim just for the sake of hype."-Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution "De Filippi and Wright stress that because blockchain is essentially autonomous, it is inflexible, which leaves it vulnerable, once it has been set in motion, to the sort of unforeseen consequences that laws and regulations are best able to address."-James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review "De Filippi and Wright offer neither a jeremiad nor a gospel; unlike the breathlessness that pervades much writing on blockchain technology, they stick to sensibleness and sobriety."-Nathan Schneider, America "Explores the implications of the technology in its broadest sense, positioning it in context of the evolution of the internet, and the development of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems which are continually touching more areas of our daily lives...A fascinating and comprehensive read that poses many questions we should debate and settle before blockchain technology becomes ubiquitous."-Breaker "At long last-a deeply researched, thoughtful, and measured analysis of blockchain technology and the policies that could help us harvest its opportunities and avoid its pitfalls. Blockchain and the Law should be required reading for anyone serious about understanding this major emerging element of our technological ecosystem."-Yochai Benkler, author of The Wealth of Networks "A well-written and comprehensive book that cuts through the blockchain hype. It not only highlights the powers and limitations of blockchain technology, but solidly grounds it in a larger social and legal context."-Bruce Schneier, author of Data and Goliath "If you are looking to understand the intricacies of the relationship between the law and blockchain technology, then this book should be on your list...[It] makes it clear that regulators must redefine their approach because restrictive regulations will stifle the growth of the industry."-Alexander Lielacher, BTCManager
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About Primavera De Filippi

Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the CERSA/CNRS/Universite Paris II and a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Aaron Wright is Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Blockchain Project at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
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Rating details

128 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 30% (39)
4 38% (48)
3 27% (34)
2 3% (4)
1 2% (3)
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