Finally, certainty on cryptoassets and smart contracts under English law?

Our team: Paul Airley, David Lee, David Robinson

The LawTech Delivery Panel’s UK Jurisdiction Task Force’s Legal Statement, released on 18 November 2019, represents the first analysis in a leading commercial jurisdiction of the legal principles underlying cryptoassets and smart contracts, with the intention of providing much-needed confidence, legal certainty and predictability to market participants within the global financial services industry.

The Statement concluded that tokens are capable of being treated as property and that smart contracts are capable of being binding contracts, confirming that established principles of English law retain the flexibility to respond and adapt to new concepts, technologies and business practices.

As ever, the legal position will be dependent on the particular factual circumstances, to be analysed on a case by case basis. The Statement also reminds us that, in advising on any crypto project, there will be numerous other issues to consider (including AML / CFT, securities laws across multiple jurisdictions, taxation, financial services regulatory matters, data protection and more). The Fladgate team has leading experience in advising on crypto-related projects. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.

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