You may have heard the good news that Professor Michele Neitz has joined the USF School of Law faculty and brought the Blockchain Law for Social Good Center and a seminar on Blockchain Technology and the Law with her. This week, we take a quick dive into what blockchain is and highlight some blockchain research resources available to you through Zief Law Library.
What is Blockchain Technology and Why Should Law Students Care About It?
In general, blockchain technology helps decentralize the movement and management of data and digital representations of assets or other value. It enables transaction authentication and settlement without centralized intermediaries or authorities. Importantly, there are many evolving applications for blockchain technology, including cryptocurrencies, online voting, medical records, insurance policies, property and real estate records, copyrights and licenses and supply chain tracking. In “smart contracts,” blockchain technology embeds payouts between the contracted parties and automatically executes when the parties meet their contractual conditions.
Blockchain technology and its various applications implicate numerous legal issues. A number of states recently enacted legislation regarding blockchain, smart contracts, and verifiable credentials. For more information on this legislation, check out Bloomberg Law’s compiled list of Cryptocurrency Laws and Regulations by State. (If you do not have a Bloomberg Law account, please contact a Zief Law Librarian!)
Zief Law Library Resources About Blockchain Technology
For introductory primers on blockchain technology and its related legal issues, check out these two books below, available at Zief Law Library. For more in-depth research, search the USF Ignacio library catalog for “blockchain” or “blockchain technology,” where you’ll find a wealth of books and eBooks from Zief and Gleeson libraries
Blockchain democracy : technology, law and the rule of the crowd by William Magnuson.
- Magnuson’s book “provides a tour of the world of blockchain and bitcoin, from their origins, to their rise and crash in the 2010’s”… “to their ignominious connections to the dark web and online crime.
Handbook of blockchain law : a guide to understanding and resolving the legal challenges of the blockchain technology, edited by Matthias Artzt, Thomas Richter
- This handbook provides an overview of the key features and functionalities of blockchain technology in a legal context. It includes coverage of existing relevant laws in various jurisdictions with a focus on European and U.S. law.
As always, if you need help finding other resources to help your research, be sure to ask the Zief Librarians and Library Assistants!