Blockchain and the international law regime of activities in cyberspace

  • Mikhail B. Zhuzhzhalov

Abstract

From the beginning, blockchain was recognized as significant enhancement of opportunities for interaction through the Internet. Together with smart-contracts, which are an inevitable furtherance of this technology, blockchain allows activities in the Internet to not depend on state support, particularly legal. Consequently, many well-known means for implementing this technology resulted in a surge of anxiety from states. The realization of relations entirely with the framework of cyberspace, often without some manifestation in the material world, with universal access of objects of these relations thanks to the Internet, raise a series of interesting difficult questions which arose earlier, but remained unresolved. This paper focuses on the development of international law norms with specific attention given to the articulation of issues and their affordable solutions. In this regard, in connection with the main topic, the author also discusses the interrelationship between international public and international private law, the concept of property with regard to discussions around the legal nature of “digital objects”, the principles of choice of the law applicable, and a number of other general doctrinal problems as they relate to the realities of the relations arising in “virtual reality”. The article presents a legal analysis of the issues emerging from the application of information technologies, such as the principles of technological neutrality, the autonomy of the Internet cyberspace, the problems of localization of Internet activity, and restrictions of such activities of sites’ owners as a restricting in relation to their domicile jurisdiction. The concept of targeting foreign Internet users and the approaches to “nationalization” of Internet activities is also elaborated upon. The author describes the structure of various legal relations arising from the use of the Internet and makes comments on the preferable legal policy in this area. Significant attention is given to the problems of ownership of mining capacities, and the consequences of their concentration in the hands of individual actors on the Internet.

Keywords:

blockchain, cryptocurrency, securities, sovereignty, information security, international law

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Author Biography

Mikhail B. Zhuzhzhalov

lawyer

References

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Published
2019-02-01
How to Cite
Zhuzhzhalov, M. B. (2019). Blockchain and the international law regime of activities in cyberspace. Pravovedenie, 63(1), 62-96. https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu25.2019.104
Section
Articles