UK Law Commission to review international laws on crypto to consider legal reforms

Regulation

The Law Commission of England and Wales will set about reviewing private international legal challenges involving cryptocurrencies through a government-commissioned project.

The review, launched on Oct. 18, will provide clarity on how international law approaches emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies, digital assets and electronic documentation.

The law reform project, dubbed “Digital Assets: Which Law, Which Court?” will outline current international legal rules and their application to digital contexts with the purview of making recommendations for legal reforms to keep United Kingdom laws relevant.

The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice and intends to develop reform proposals to be published for public consultation by the second half of 2023.

The announcement highlighted that the proliferation of blockchain technology has generated a number of conflict of law issues, which, in turn, has created legal uncertainty for users, organizations and governments.

Related: 8 things to remember as the U.K. considers new crypto property laws

A major hurdle is considering which courts have the power or jurisdiction to hear disputes and which laws should be applied. This is also due to the digital nature of cryptocurrencies and digital assets like nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which are intangible in nature, distributed and geographically difficult to define, which further exacerbates legal considerations.

Sarah Green, law commissioner for commercial and common law, highlighted the difficulty in dealing with legal disputes involving the burgeoning space in a statement shared with Cointelegraph:

“With digital assets and other emerging technologies developing rapidly in recent years, the laws that support and govern them have struggled to keep pace. This has led to inconsistencies across jurisdictions, with uncertainty over which laws should be applied and which courts should rule on them.”

The announcement also stressed its aim of supporting innovative digital technologies like cryptocurrencies in the U.K. as the country looks to establish itself as a hub for cryptocurrency adoption.

The Law Commission has been involved in a number of law reform projects involving smart contracts, digital assets and decentralized autonomous organization electronic trade documents. Cointelegraph has reached out to the Law Commission to ascertain further details of the project

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