Conditions

As we get closer to transformative applications of blockchain, the need for the social, legal and economic spaces to accommodate these becomes increasingly important.

There is a need to create widespread support for and awareness of the use of blockchain applications. Large-scale blockchain applications can only be realised if all relevant players are in the right mode. A level playing field needs to be created in the political, administrative, legal, economic and social arenas.

The coalition therefore intends to work on the right conditions under which blockchain can be used. Accordingly the coalition wants to offer an independent, cross-sectoral platform and alliance to relevant stakeholders from government bodies, industry, public organisations and researchers.

This will also require the intense involvement of researchers from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Research questions will emerge concerning the extent to which citizens and companies accept and trust how blockchain works. Which expectations will citizens, clients, companies, policymakers, financiers and shareholders have concerning the transparency that blockchain can provide? What does it mean for these parties if end users are given a more direct role for the purpose of their own privacy and security?

Smart contracts

Research is also needed into the building of the extremely secure software required for smart contracts; into how the liabilities of poor smart contracts can be settled and into which new market roles and other roles will arise. It also concerns the management of the changes that will lead to innovations for complete markets and to new systems and regulations that are sufficiently future-proof.

The role of governments, regulators and interest groups with respect to blockchain also comes into view. This concerns aspects such as regulations and the creation of markets, legal liabilities, the protection of privacy, consumer protection, conflict mediation and arbitration, contract law, new roles of trusted third parties, roles of identifying and certifying parties, how smart contracts work, the right to be forgotten, and new possibilities and roles for compliance and audit functions.