INITIATIVE

What was the inspiration behind starting Blockchain Policy Initiative?

While blockchain technology is having its momentum, coordination in the crypto space has been lacking – among the diverse community itself, as well as between the community and policy makers. Blockchain is not just a mere outgrowth of Information and Communication Technologies, but rather a fundamentally novel social or institutional technology for coordinating actors. This, in turn, requires novel approaches in governance and regulation. As we increasingly witness that ‘code is law’, it is only entrepreneurs who fully grasp the ‘code’ sphere and only legal practitioners who can reconcile it with the respective ‘law’ sphere. Blockchain Policy Initiative was founded to align both fields so that they can support each other in a sustainable and innovative fashion. As we see vast realms of technological innovations being developed and investors entering the market, this shall to foster certainty for everyone about what the future of blockchain holds.

Who is behind the initiative?

In July 2017, the first draft of the European Regulatory Report ‘Tokens as Novel Asset Class’ was published. It stemmed from a cooperation between law firms Lacore and Wardynski & Partners and Neufund, a Berlin-based blockchain startup building a community-owned investment fund. After this first impulse, a community around the began to emerge around the report. It has grown so extensively that some coordination of this interest became crucial. For this purpose, Blockchain Policy Initiative was founded in August 2017. It is now a community-driven, decentral and open interest group, where all participants share their dedication to the further advancement of the cryptoeconomy. We are currently at home in Europe, but considering respective developments around the world.

What are the Initiative’s goals?

Lawyers often lack a technological understanding of blockchain developments while at the same time entrepreneurs are in need of a thorough legal understanding. Our Initiative’s overarching goal is to be the platform for these two arenas to coordinate. By this, we identify special needs with regards to legal innovation around blockchain technology. On the other hand, we help policy makers to find the right ways to fully protect participants and support crypto innovation at the same time. As we witness a jurisdictional competition around blockchain regulation emerging on a global scale, we promote information symmetry and transparency but opt to avoid the application of excessive formalities. Finally, we help to continuously promote simple, yet robust regulatory frameworks with regards to blockchain technology in as many jurisdictions as possible.

How does the Initiative tackle its goals?

First, we offer a platform for the exchange of ideas at the intersection of distributed ledger technologies and legal frameworks. This is made possible through an inclusive and decentralised community that collaborates on open source documents. Second, we spark an ecosystem-wide conversation that aligns the crypto-community over blockchain regulations. For example, we have come up with a structured and transparent process to carve out ten general calls for the governance of the cryptoeconomy. Third, we have elaborated a comprehensive set of concrete policy suggestions that shall both promote innovation and secure the protection of participants. For example, see the Blockchain Policy Initiative Report ‘Tokens as Novel Asset Class’.

REPORT

What is the purpose of the Report?

The Blockchain Policy Initiative Report is a community-driven and continuously refined groundwork to help eliminate the regulatory uncertainty around blockchain technology. In its now over 100 pages of expert analysis, we discuss the dynamics of the respective core technologies and their effects on economic processes. We explore how cryptocurrencies and cryptotokens match with existing regulations and recommend that they be treated as a separate asset class – without automatically triggering securities law, AML laws or VAT regulation. Thereby, we propose a legislative approach that shall serve the interests of businesses, investors and civil society alike. In this spirit, we call upon legislators to effectively collaborate with crypto experts in the establishment of a simple, yet robust regulatory framework.

Who wrote the Report?

The Blockchain Policy Initiative Report was initiated by law firms Lacore and Wardynski & Partners as well as blockchain startup Neufund in July 2017. It has then been handed over to the community as a Google Doc, which has since been further developed by hundreds of blockchain experts from all around the world.

How does Blockchain Policy Initiative cooperate with regulators?

The Blockchain Policy Initiative Report was submitted to the European Commission. It serves as a universally accessible source of information on distributed ledger technologies and respective legal frameworks. As it is being developed further, we will remain to stay in close contact with policy makers of many jurisdictions.

Are you affiliated with the European Regulatory Initiative Report?

Yes. After the Initiative was founded, the European Regulatory Initiative Report (EUREG) was renamed. It is now called the Blockchain Policy Initiative Report.

MANIFESTO

What is the idea behind the Blockchain Policy Manifesto?

The Blockchain Policy Manifesto will illustrate the ten core principles that guide our mission to promote clear guidance, innovation and opportunity for the cryptoeconomy. We acknowledge that while our participants’ engagements with blockchain are very diverse, there are certain core concerns that we all share. Our manifesto will be the most concise public declaration of the community’s purpose and intent thus far.

How is the Manifesto being developed?

The Manifesto will be elaborated during the first Blockchain Policy Workshop. It will take place in Berlin at the end of September 2017. We will go through a structured and transparent process both online and offline to carve out the ten most pressing principles, values and concerns with regards to promoting the jurisdictional and societal acceptance of distributed ledger technologies. If you are interested in contributing to the Manifesto, please get in touch.

INVOLVEMENT

Can I participate in the Blockchain Policy Initiative?

If you are a blockchain expert who cares about our mission to promote sound policy foundations for a global cryptoeconomy, you are most welcome to join our efforts.

How can I contribute?

There are different levels of engagement: Your organisation may become a signatory to make our voice even stronger. You may contribute to our community’s publications by adding your expertise to the open source documents. You may set up further meet-ups in our name. Please get in touch!