- 02.03.2016

Blockchain: regulatory technology or technology to regulate?




Blockchain: regulatory technology or technology to regulate?


Wednesday 2 March 2016, 12.30 - 16.00
European Parliament Brussels, Room PHS 7C 050


An event hosted by MEP Marietje Schaake, in cooperation with COALA, Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

In this workshop we will discuss how the blockchain actually works, its many potential applications and appropriate regulatory strategies to deal with its implications.



The blockchain has many potential uses beyond Bitcoin, from automating legal processes and contracts to enabling decentralized crowdfunding and distributed social networks.The bottomline is that the blockchain lets people who do not trust each other collaborate and exchange value without relying on any central authority or clearinghouse. AsThe Economist said in its cover-piece from October 2015 on the technology: “Simply put, it is a machine for creating trust”. The blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way we store data and manage information, significantly reducing the role of the middleman in many different areas of society.

The blockchain also enables the development of new governance systems with more democratic or participatory decision-making and decentralized applications that can operate over a network of computers without any human intervention. All these applications have led many to compare the blockchain to the Internet, with accompanying predictions that this technology will shift the balance of power away from centralized authorities in the field of communications, business, and even politics or law.


12.30-14.00 Overview of potential blockchain applications: How can the blockchain empower ordinary citizens?

Introduction by MEP Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE)

Pindar Wong (VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd.)

Henning Diedrich (IBM)

Primavera De Filippi (Harvard University/CNRS/COALA)


14.00-14.30 Coffee Break

14.30-16.00 Roundtable discussion on potential regulatory strategies

Ruth Wandhofer (CitiBank)

Harald Stieber (European Commission)

Constance Choi (COALA)

Primavera De Filippi (Harvard University/CNRS/COALA)



This event is fully booked, but a live-stream will be available here.




Illustration by Dan Page