Blockchain, Digital Transformation and the Law: What Can We Learn from the Recent Deals?

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Recent years have seen a surge in the use of blockchain technologies, not least because of the increased use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and their reliance on such technology. While some of the generated interest can be dismissed as hype, there is little doubt that blockchain is a technology with the potential to revolutionize certain areas of law. A careful reader following the trends would have noticed that Maersk, the Danish business conglomerate, was involved with no less than three deals revolving around blockchain technology in one way or another.' Such news should intrigue the reader since the adoption of experimental methods or newest IT technologies does not normally characterize the inert maritime and transport industries. We will, in this short piece, give an overview of the relevance of blockchain and briefly look at three different deals which Maersk concluded around the technology. We will then give an outline of the potential legal problems which these and similar deals may bring. Our preliminary conclusion is that blockchain technology-in some instances at least-has the potential to disrupt the role law traditionally plays in negotiating and executing international contracts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUniversity of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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