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FinTech publications

“Norton Rose Fulbright is a noted thought leader in the blockchain and smart contracts space, having published some of the foremost recent legal commentary in the field.”
Chambers Global FinTech, 2018

Tier 1 | FinTech | Legal 500 UK.

Read all our FinTech-related white papers, briefings, blog posts and events news from around the globe on our FinTech hub which is hosted by the 'NRF Institute' – our client knowledge portal. By registering for our ‘NRF Institute’, you will also have access to our cross-border guides and other premium content. The FinTech hub can be found under the Knowledge hubs dropdown menu. Below is a snapshot of some of our white papers and briefings which you can read in full on the FinTech hub.

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Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 7 | November 2018

Most FinTech disputes have, to date, concerned breach of contract, fraud or insolvency in connection with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, such as the R3 and Ripple lawsuit, the Butterfly Labs case and the Mt. Gox dispute. However, as applications of blockchain technologies expand rapidly beyond cryptocurrency and are deployed across industry sectors on a B2B and B2C basis, there is likely to be a significant increase in disputes and in the novel issues that they raise.

In this chapter we consider:
  • The legal rights and obligations of users, operators, administrators and third party providers of blockchain technologies.
  • The types of commercial dispute that are most likely to arise in the blockchain space.
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Legal remedies for enforcing rights through litigation or arbitration.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

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Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 6 | August 2018

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have proven to be an innovative method of raising funds outside of the traditional sphere of venture capital, angel and seed funding, as well as providing a welcome investment market for holders of crypto economy assets. However, despite the dramatic increase in interest in ICOS and the levels of funding being raised, the regulatory landscape remains unclear.

In this chapter of the guide we provide a high level overview of the various legal and regulatoryissues that an issuer should consider when contemplating the launch of an ICO.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

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Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 5 | July 2018

As interest and investment in blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) continues to grow, many businesses and governments are considering how this technology can be used for identity management and identity authentication purposes.

In this chapter we explore some of the challenges relating to identity that businesses and individuals face, especially as the number of digital interactions that require individuals (as well as businesses and, increasingly, connected devices) to verify their identities increases. We look at some of the ways in which DLT may help to deal with these challenges or otherwise assist in driving efficiencies in existing processes for businesses, focusing mainly on the use of DLT in the context of individuals’ identities. 

We also examine the regulatory and privacy-related issues that must be considered, not only when DLT is being used for purposes specifically connected to identity management and identity verification, but also across some of the other use cases that are being put forward for the technology. We identify some of the conflicts that arise between what is currently required under regulation and some of the inherent features of DLT, and consider how these might be addressed. 

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

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Legal analysis of the governed blockchain | June 2018

A governed blockchain has the potential to resolve many of the legal uncertainties that may inhibit widespread adoption of distributed ledger technology in commerce and finance. However, the form of governance must not itself raise new intractable issues and a precise but flexible dispute resolution mechanism will be crucial to its success.

Read the preview

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Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 4 | March 2018

The use of DLT in the energy value chain could lead to a fundamental change in how parties share data and transact, and may even alter market structures. This white paper explores existing, emerging and future applications of DLT in three industry sub-sectors: energy trading, oil and gas, and power. We also consider some of the regulatory issues which will need to be addressed and examine whether the energy usage of required by DLT can be sustainable.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

 

Blockchain: A chain reaction 

Blockchain: A chain reaction | January 2018

Blockchain will change the way in which real estate transactions are undertaken across the world. It may take time for the full potential of this technology to have an impact on the UK domestic market, but those transacting globally have already experienced the benefits.

Read the briefing

Welcome to the future: blockchain and the sharing economy

 

Welcome to the future: blockchain and the sharing economy | July 2017

Our legal and technology experts have developed a roadmap to clearly depict the blockchain alternatives currently available to businesses and government agencies, as well as their advantages and potential risks.

Read the briefing

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Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 3 | July 2017

Whilst a significant amount of time is now being spent by businesses on analyzing the various legal and regulatory issues impacting upon the DLT space, many businesses have not yet considered strategies as to whether to (and how to):

  • Protect their investment in the technology by creating enforceable intellectual property rights in respect of it.
  • Put themselves in the best possible position to defend themselves from infringement claims in relation to the use of DLT technology by competitors and so-called “patent trolls” (known as non-practicing entities).

In this chapter we consider some intellectual property rights-related use cases for DLT.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

 

Chapter 2: Digitizing the insurance value chain 

Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 2 | April 2017

An R3 and Norton Rose Fulbright white paper

Digitizing the insurance value chain through the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) has the potential to revolutionise the insurance market, from the way insurance products are distributed, underwritten and administered, to the way the market is regulated.

Any proposed deployment of these technologies will need to take a broad range of legal and regulatory factors into consideration.  In view of this, Norton Rose Fulbright, in association with R3, have produced a global legal and regulatory guide to DLT Use Cases in the Insurance Industry.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

 

InsurTech: Where are we now? 

InsurTech: where are we now? | February 2017

The disruptive impact of low cost base, customer facing FinTech companies has gathered significant momentum in the last few years.

Read the briefing

Blockchain: competition in nascent markets 

Blockchain: competition issues in nascent markets | November 2016

In this briefing, we look at the possible competition law issues that blockchain raises. At this stage, those issues are familiar issues at the crossroads of technological innovation and competition rules. Nonetheless, the development of blockchain – in particular by consortia and other groups – requires the businesses involved to carefully consider competition compliance.

Read the briefing

Can smart contracts be legally binding contracts?

Can smart contracts be legally binding? | November 2016

An R3 and Norton Rose Fulbright white paper

R3 and Norton Rose Fulbright offer this White Paper as a step forward in forging a consensus of understanding between industry stakeholders, lawyers and technologists in relation to smart contracts.

Read the key findings

Request the full white paper

Blockchain: competition in nascent markets 

The future of smart contracts in insurance| September 2016

In this publication we consider the key commercial, legal and regulatory issues which innovators of  smart contracts and blockchain technologies will have to consider as they move from proof-of-concept trials to commercially viable products which can be profitably commoditised.

Read the briefing

An introduction to blockchain technologies 

Unlocking the blockchain: A global legal and regulatory guide | Chapter 1 | July 2016

In this guide to blockchain technologies, we explore the regulatory considerations and a range of other legal issues that should be taken into account with any proposed deployment of use cases. The guide will be published in a series of chapters, with the first chapter - which we invite you to download below - covering ‘an introduction to blockchain technologies’.

Read the chapter on the FinTech hub

Smart contracts

Smart Contacts: coding the fine print, a legal and regulatory guide | March 2016

In this guide we explore the potential impact of smart contracts upon various industry sectors, outline the nature of smart contracts and examine potential obstacles to their uptake. We  focus on whether they have legally binding contractual effect and identify other contractual risks. We also consider how the regulatory and consumer protection landscape will need to be factored into risk assessments for the use of smart contracts by businesses.

Request the guide

Smart Contracts: coding the fine print 

Deciphering cryptocurrencies: A global legal and regulatory guide | May 2015 – May 2016

In this guide we explore the legal and regulatory framework within which cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology operate. The guide is being issued in a series of six chapters, with more details on each chapter below. We invite you to download the first chapter and register if you would like to receive the subsequent chapters.

Register to receive the subsequent chapters