Law Commission consultation on digital assets

Closes 4 Nov 2022

Opened 28 Jul 2022

Overview

This is a public consultation by the Law Commission for England and Wales.

 

The UK Government asked the Law Commission to make recommendations for reform to ensure that the law is capable of accommodating both crypto-tokens and other digital assets in a way which allows the possibilities of this type of technology to flourish.

We published our consultation paper on digital assets on 28 July 2022. We argue that the law of England and Wales has gone some way to accommodate the rise of digital asset technologies. However, we consider that there are several key areas that require law reform, to recognise and protect the rights of users and maximise the potential of digital assets.

The consultation paper examines how existing personal property law does — and should — apply to digital assets (including crypto-tokens and cryptoassets). Because they are not tangible, some digital assets have many different features to traditional physical assets and to other intangible things that can attract property rights. Their unique qualities mean that many digital assets do not fit easily into traditionally recognised private property law categories or definitions.

The consultation paper argues the law must therefore go further to acknowledge these unique features, which in turn would provide a strong legal foundation for the digital assets industry and for users. Through these reforms, the legal system would help to create an environment that is more conducive to digital assets and their markets.

Our proposals are designed to ensure that the law remains dynamic, highly competitive, and flexible, so that it can support transactions and other arrangements involving digital asset technology.

The reforms also aim to help to achieve the UK Government’s stated goal of the jurisdiction of England and Wales becoming a global hub for digital assets, and in particular, for crypto-tokens and crypto-token systems.  

 

For more information about this project, click here.

 

We recommend that consultees read the consultation paper before responding to the consultation. A shorter summary is also available. Consultees do not need to answer all the questions if they are only interested in some aspects of the consultation.

 

About the Law Commission: The Law Commission is a statutory body, created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 (“the 1965 Act”) for the purpose of promoting the reform of the law. It is an advisory Non Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Law Commission is independent of Government. For more information about the Law Commission please click here.

 

Responses to this consultation: We may publish or disclose information you provide us in response to this consultation, including personal information. For more information on how we consult and how we may use responses to the consultation, please see page ii of the consultation paper. For information about how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy notice.

Respond to our consultation

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Citizens
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Public listed company
  • Private limited company
  • Academics
  • UK politicians
  • Journalists
  • Business & industry
  • IMB secretariat staff
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Business & industry

Interests

  • Courts
  • Property
  • Enforcement
  • Debt
  • Law
  • International law
  • UK Law
  • Information rights
  • dispute resolution
  • Legal services
  • Judiciary
  • Social media and social networking