Posted on Categories artificial intelligence, blockchain

European vision of the data-based economy

Key strategic documents from the European Commission on data and AI—the European data strategy and Excellence and trust in artificial intelligence—were recently released for public consultation. They present a European vision for a new model of the economy.

According to these documents, the new model of the economy is to be founded on principles vital for European values, particularly human dignity and trust. This aspect should be stressed, as the European Union clearly is becoming the global leader in thinking about new technologies in light of humanistic values. This is a unique approach, but also entails several dilemmas. In adopting this approach, the EU risks eroding its competitive advantages, at least in the short-term perspective. Most likely, AI technologies will develop faster in places where their growth is not restrained by ethical doubts. The Commission thus proposes an ambitious but also risky approach.

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Posted on Categories blockchain, changes in law

Can PSA shares be tokenised?

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.

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Posted on Categories crowdfunding

Non-obvious regulation of crowdfunding platforms

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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Posted on Categories changes in law

Another attempt to capture the essence of digital money

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.

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Posted on Categories blockchain, creative industry, IT

Powers of attorney (and more) on blockchain

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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