“Smart contracts” remain a largely misunderstood technological and legal phenomenon. What are they? What is or could be their potential legal and commercial significance? Are they contracts? Do they require novel regulatory measures? Some definitions regard “smart contracts” as nothing but distributed applications equipping blockchains with complex business logic, others associate them with the embedding of legal terms in software or hardware in order to control on-chain assets. Looking behind the hype surrounding blockchain-related technologies, this seminar provides an overview of “smart contract” fundamentals and examines existing legal and regulatory approaches. It also identifies the technical prerequisites of their mainstream commercial success as well as the potential risks of their deployment. A closer analysis reveals that turning “contracts into code” is more complex than commonly believed.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Eliza Mik joined the CUHK LAW in January 2021. Prior to that she was researching and teaching at the Singapore Management University, Bocconi University and at Melbourne Law School. Before joining academia, she worked in-house for a number of software and telecommunications companies in Australia, Poland, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. She advised on technology procurement and e-commerce regulation. Her PhD focused on the private law aspects of e-commerce and on the legal problems of transaction automation. Since 2014, she has been actively researching smart contracts and blockchains. Eliza has advised the World Bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. At present, she is a member of the UNCITRAL Expert Group for the Digital Economy, a member of the Inclusive Global Legal Innovation Platform on ODR, a Research Associate at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Society and Technology and an Affiliate Researcher with the Centre for AI and Digital Ethics at the University of Melbourne.
The Law Society of Hong Kong has awarded this seminar 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.