Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Blockchain and Online Dispute Resolution

The second of my papers delivered at the APEC workshop is also available here at the APEC website. It is "Blockchain and Online Dispute Resolution" (2018/SOM1/EC/WKSP2/017).

The paper considers the possible impact of the blockchain technology on the ODR rule making. It foresees that the world of online market will gradually flatten. Thus, the domination of big and powerful enterprises in the current hub-and-spoke model may be eroded with the emergence of the sharing economy model where MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) will have a growing profile. This trend may be accelerated in the future, with the blockchain technology facilitating the P2P model where consumer-to-consumer transactions will also increase.

In this process, the characterization of consumers as the weaker parties will become less real or relevant, rendering consumer protection less of legislative priority in the ODR rule-making. This will be particularly significant in view of the great difficulties experienced in the earlier work of UNCITRAL on ODR which had been caused by legislative preoccupation with consumer protection.

Blockchain and Smart Contract for Contract Management (Dispute Prevention, Generation and Resolution)

A workshop on developing an ODR framework was organized by the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Economic Committee on 3-4 March 2018 at Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea). I was invited by the Department of Justice of Hong Kong to deliver two papers.

The first paper "Blockchain and Smart Contract for Contract Management (Dispute Prevention, Generation and Resolution)" (2018/SOM1/EC/WKSP2/005) is now published here on the APEC website.

The title is mouthful as it lists all the elements flagged by the organizers. After comparing and contrasting smart contracts with computer codes running in a central server, the paper notes that "smart contracts" are not contracts in the legal sense and considers their implications for contract management and dispute prevention. It alerts that the features of smart contracts are prone to generate disputes which often involve novel legal issues. The paper concludes with a brief comment on the potential use of smart contracts in dispute resolution.

Friday, 16 February 2018

"Implications of the Blockchain Technology for the UNCITRAL Works" - published.

It has come to my attention that my article "Implications of the Blockchain Technology for the UNCITRAL Works" had been published from the United Nations in November last year.
The 50th anniversary Congress was a big occasion for UNCITRAL and it was my great honour to be part of it.
Here is my article excerpted from the book.

An additional note: In my original manuscript, there were some references to specific chapter numbers. I have noticed that in the published version, they have been changed to "Ch. 0" due to the editorial work which has removed all the chapter numbers from the headings. To see where those were actually referring to, please consult my original manuscript here.

Monday, 5 February 2018

"Blockchain Technology for Letters of Credit and Escrow Arrangements" - published.

Here is the published version of my article "Blockchain Technology for Letters of Credit and Escrow Arrangements" (2018)135-2 Banking Law Journal pp.89-103.

The analysis is multi-layered, with up to three levels of headings. To aid readability, I gave chapter numbers in my original manuscript (See the unedited version attached to my previous post). But because the numbering is not compatible with the journal's style of headings, the experienced editor has come up with an alternative solution. Though it may have compromised readability somewhat, I hope that the structure of the article is still clear to the readers.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Blockchain Technology for Letters of Credit and Escrow Arrangements

Here is an article I have written on the basis of my presentation at the conference “Supply Chain Finance and the Changing Landscape of International Trade” held at the Gothenburg University (Sweden) on 23 October 2017.

An additional note (25 Nov 2017): This article has been accepted for publication from the Banking Law Journal and, after editing, is scheduled (tentatively) to appear in the February 2018 issue. The unedited Word version is kept here with permission.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Blockchain Technology for Letter of Credit and Escrow Service

Here are the slides I used for my presentation at the Gothenburg University (Sweden) on 23 October 2017.
Very many thanks to Abhinayan Basu Bal for his invitation.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Two aspects of the blockchain technology

The blockchain technology enables the synchronisation of distributed ledgers without the involvement of a trusted intermediary. For this reason, it is often called "distributed ledger technology.” It helps enhance the security and integrity of data. Those benefits accrue in both public and private blockchains. Most of the recent initiatives of using blockchains in financial sectors tap into this aspect of the technology.

The blockchain technology is, however, not just about generating ledgers or a special way of doing it. Its greater potential for disrupting the society lies in the fact that it creates an online platform which enables the trustless P2P (peer-to-peer) trading of cryptocurrencies and other tokens. The core innovation of the Bitcoin's blockchain relates to this aspect of the technology. This feature is less conspicuous with private blockchains. Although the recent trend seems to lean in favour of private blockchains, the full potential of the blockchain technology would not be exploited if this aspect were neglected.