On 1 March 2020, the regulations on the simple stock company (PSA) will come into force. They will make it possible to keep a register of shareholders of such companies using blockchain technology. For some, this is a minor technical regulation, while for others it is a truly revolutionary breakthrough in the legal system, enabling tokenisation of shares in Polish companies. How will it really be?
In the summer of 2018, we had the opportunity to participate in the analysis of the draft PSA regulations by the Coalition for Polish Innovation. The provision on the possibility of maintaining a PSA’s register of shareholders using a dispersed and decentralised database was unexpectedly included in the draft and immediately met with considerable interest. It was a complete novelty in the Polish legal system. The surprise was all the greater as, at the same time, we observed the first activities of regulators aimed at limiting uncontrolled development of blockchain technology.
The provision allowing a register of PSA shareholders to be maintained on blockchain is not as revolutionary as it seems. We are a long way from full tokenisation and decentralisation of PSAs. This is determined by other PSA provisions showing much more attachment to traditional legal institutions. Nevertheless, this provision opens up a lot of new possibilities and creates space for interesting legal experimentation with blockchain technology. It is worth taking advantage of this opportunity to create solutions that in the future will encourage regulators and lawmakers to open up the legal system more courageously to the technology of decentralised registers.
Continue reading “Can PSA shares be tokenised?”
Many crowdfunding platforms in Poland have focused their attention recently on the regulations governing the offering of financial instruments. This happened largely because of the position of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) on interpretation of Art. 72 of the Trading in Financial Instruments Act of 29 July 2005. But in this context it is also worth drawing attention to other, less-obvious regulations that could be applied to crowdfunding platforms.
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The bill to amend the Criminal Code currently being processed (Sejm print no. 3451) is generating lots of controversies. For persons involved in FinTech, the draft of the proposed new Art. 279a of the Criminal Code is particularly interesting. It is another attempt to define new forms of commission of offences on financial markets for purposes of the criminal law. This attempt once again demonstrates what a difficult task faces lawmakers.
The problem is not new. Progress in digitalisation is accompanied by dynamic growth in various types of digital assets. The law does not keep pace with this development, and consequently is unable to ensure adequate protection to participants in digital economic exchange. This makes it necessary to adapt the existing regulations to suit the realities of the new economy.
Continue reading “Another attempt to capture the essence of digital money”
An interview with Daniel Bigos, Gabriel Dymowski, Marcin Lorenc and Piotr Żelazko, members of the DoxyChain team (formerly DigiDocs), which took second place in the Polish phase of the Global Legal Hackathon.
Justyna Zandberg-Malec: Your project took second place in the Global Legal Hackathon. What is your solution all about?
Marcin Lorenc: We proposed basing powers of attorney for litigation, and in the future also other documents, on the secure blockchain technology. Using our application, which we are now perfecting, it will be possible to appoint or dismiss an attorney, as well as manage the circulation of powers of attorney and access the history of operations. The principal will know where his authorisation was used and who is the actual attorney in the given case. Lawyers in Poland use the right of substitution, passing on the representation of the principal to a colleague, which means that the principal doesn’t always know for sure who is actually representing him. In turn, the attorney may not remember all the cases where he was appointed to represent the client. Our solution comprehensively resolves the problem of such documents.
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Register now for the Global Legal Hackathon. The event aims to develop innovative technological and business solutions that help both lawyers and people seeking legal assistance.
The Polish edition will be held in Warsaw. It will run from Friday, February 22nd to Sunday, February 24th. In over 40 cities around the world, lawyers and IT specialists will meet to create a modern solution for the law industry. The winners of the Polish edition will receive cash prizes and a trip to the finals of the competition in New York.
Continue reading “Newtech.law is the media partner of the Global Legal Hackathon”
Smart contracts eloquently capture the dilemma facing traditional legal systems, whose inefficiency has reached dimensions threatening systemic incoherence and failure to achieve the purposes the law is intended to serve. The system needs urgent reform. But the alternative of replacing the law as we know it with automation and algorithms threatens the loss of the internal profundity of the law and its openness to nuances. This dilemma will be more and more apparent in the years to come. In this context, it is essential to achieve a clear understanding of the hopes and threats integral to smart contracts.
Continue reading “Smart contracts – hope for the law?”