Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Sam Weinstein, Yeshiva has written on Blockchain Neutrality.
ABSTRACT: Blockchain technology is transforming how markets work. Blockchains eliminate the need for trusted gatekeepers like banks to execute, verify, and record transactions. In the financial markets, their disruptive potential threatens Wall Street and Silicon Valley venture capitalists. How blockchain technology is regulated will determine whether it encourages or inhibits competition. Some blockchain applications present serious fraud and systemic risks, complicating regulation. This Article explores the antitrust and competition policy challenges blockchain presents and it proposes a regulatory strategy to unlock blockchain’s competitive potential, modeled on Internet regulation and net neutrality principles. It contends that financial regulators should promote blockchain competition — and the resulting market decentralization — except in cases where specific applications are shown to harm consumers or threaten systemic safety. Regulators also should ensure open access and non-discrimination on blockchain networks. This approach will serve not only traditional antitrust goals of lowering prices and promoting innovation, but also might achieve broader economic and social reform by reducing the power and influence of the biggest financial institutions.