14th November 2017

2017 Symposium: Blockchain

‘Blockchain in the Real World: Technology Hype Meets the Long Arm of the Law ‘​​

Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Centre, 4th Annual Symposium

12-13 September​ 2017, Cumberland Lodge, Berkshire, UK

The theme of the 4th Annual Symposium was distributed ledger technologies (DLT), including blockchain. Through the lenses of both computer science and law we looked behind the hype to consider what is feasible in the real world. Questions we addressed included: What is blockchain and what are the technologies that underpin it? How do blockchain technologies interact with the law, including evidentiary considerations, treatment of off-chain assets, and specific regulatory requirements? Might Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) play a role in bridging the gap between hype and reality?

To accompany and facilitate the discussions, the MCCRC research team produced three academic research papers on the technical, legal and policy considerations of blockchain applications.


Symposium Research Papers:

1. “Blockchain Demystified
Jean Bacon, Dave Michels, Christopher Millard, Jatinder Singh

2. “Beyond Bitcoin – Legal Impurities and Off-Chain Assets
Chris Reed, Umamahesh Sathyanarayan, Shuhui Ruan, Justine Collins

3. “Blockchain as a Service: Providers and Trust
Jatinder Singh, Dave Michels


Symposium Presentations:

KEYNOTE 1: A brief history of Blockchain
John Palfreyman (CEO and Founder, Palfreyman Ventures)

KEYNOTE 2: An overview of technologies underpinning blockchain
Professor Jean Bacon; Anwaar Ali; and Dave Michels

KEYNOTE 3: Blockchain as a Service
Dr Jatinder Singh

KEYNOTE 4: Beyond BitCoin – legal impurities and off-chain assets
Professor Chris Reed

KEYNOTE 5: Blockchain and the Energy Life Cycle
Lauren Downes