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Distributed Ledger Technologies, Law, and Governance: Opportunities and Challenges

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are a set of digital technologies developing open, peer-to-peer,
distributed ledgers to record transactions between multiple parties in a verifiable and tamper resistant way. As a result, DLTs enable systems where people, Artificial Intelligence agents, or Internet of Things objects can interact in a trusted and virtually frictionless network.

A key component of DLTs are distributed consensus mechanisms that exclusively rely on the nodes of the network to validate any incoming transactions (e.g. currency transfers, votes, smart contracts, etc.). As there is no need of third trusted parties to validate such transactions, DLTs are expected to disrupt a number of industries and domains: finance and capital markets, logistics and supply chains, utilities and consumer products, and government and the public sector, among others.

This research program aims at studying the impact of different forms of DLTs (such as the open platforms Blockchain and Ethereum) on law and governance. More specifically, it proposes to investigate three main areas: legal transactions (e.g. property and IP rights), voting, and governance of big data.

Research question/s

The three main research questions are:
• How DLTs can be used to provide users with greater access and control over the data they create?
• Do DLTs enable more efficient and tamper-proof online voting mechanisms?
• Can DLTs provide a more secure and trusted system for legal transactions such as electronic land transfers or IP rights?

C. Proposed Postgraduate Research Programme

Graduate School of Business and Law
Course code: DR206
Program name: PhD (Law)
Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) Alignment : Global Business Innovation

Related Subjects

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