The University of Luxembourg conducts research to explore the opportunity of having a common EU legal framework on blockchain technologies, as well as how blockchain technology and other disruptive and dis-intermediating technologies are influencing the future of public law.

In order to do that we are currently investigating on the challenges and opportunities that blockchain technology poses to the current legal framework and trying to formulate hypothesis on possible future approaches to regulation. The European Parliament and the European Commission have been in the forefront of the exploration of the possibilities offered by blockchain. While much of the attention has been devoted to virtual currencies and financial services, in the last year the EU institutions have kicked off various initiatives aiming at fostering the knowledge on the possible applications of blockchains.

These initiatives follow the attention devoted to blockchains by several governments around the world. The European Parliament jointly with the European Commission has convened forum of reflections on blockchain; the European Commission has successfully launched a tender for the establishment of an European Expertise Hub on Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers Technologies.

Blockchains can be a key factor for the success the future of EU legal integration: currencies, public documents, contracts, public and private healthcare systems and even traceability of products (i.e. geographical indications) can be radically transformed in order to comply with uniform standards reducing the need for institutional certification. A blockchain-based system might be, for instance, able to simultaneously test the compliance of a public document with various external parameters, and this might be extremely appealing in managing extensive databases (as the Schengen Information System) with the promising guarantee to be taking into account simultaneously data protection and public security. A recent Resolution approved by the European Parliament says this clearly: the EU has the chance to become a global leader in DLT-based technologies. At the University of Luxembourg, research is done to discover how.

Main contributor(s): Giovanni Zaccaroni, Herwig C. H. Hofmann