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Cyberspace, Blockchain, Governance: How Technology Implies Normative Power and Regulation - 2021

Cyberspace, Blockchain, Governance: How Technology Implies Normative Power And Regulation

Research Area:  Blockchain Technology


Technologies and their inherent design choices create normative structures that affect governance. This chapter aims to illustrate how blockchain technology in particular introduces new norms into a legal framework. We first analyze the different forms of governance by distinguishing between old and new governance. With a view to code that functions as legal norms, Blockchain technology is particularly suited to create governance structures and mechanisms. However, one needs to be aware of the norms that are implicitly introduced into the legal system by a specific blockchain technology. We look at the blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This blockchain introduces a decentralized, transparent, cryptographically locked and thus immutable shared ledger. In summary, these design choices have normative powers over the user and over user interaction. If this is indeed the case, then regulators have to actively assess newly introduced digital ledger technology and other technologies for their effect on the normative and legal system.


Author(s) Name:  Andrej Zwitter & Jilles Hazenberg

Journal name:  Blockchain, Law and Governance

Conferrence name:  

Publisher name:  Springer

DOI:  10.1007/978-3-030-52722-8_6

Volume Information:  pp 87–97