Blockchain and the Law

2 ECTS / 12h / English

The purpose of this seminar is to assess the main legal challenges posed by the economic and social adoption of distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), mostly known as “blockchains”. The seminar intends to frame the relationship between law and DLTs within the broader dogmatic framework of legal theory and technological regulation, and to assess the legal implications of blockchains by looking at (i) its characteristics and fundamental principles; (ii) social and economic eco-system; and (iii) major use-cases.

Therefore, the seminar discusses and deconstructs the history, technique, function and purpose of DLTs, including innovations associated with DLTs such as crypto-assets and smart contracts. It further describes the crypto-community and the crypto-market and compares its philosophy and ideology against traditional legacy status (banks, financial institutions, political institutions, etc). The course also provides insights into the new international regulations concerning DLTs and crypto-assets, particularly legal instruments adopted in the EU such as MiCA, AML and CTF provisions, and data protection rules.

The objective of the seminar is for participants to have, by the end of the course, an understanding of what DLTs are and to be able to identify and critically reflect upon the main current and prospective legal issues raised by the technology.


Martinho Lucas Pires is a lawyer and PHD candidate in EU law, working and researching on matters of economic law, financial regulation, and fintech innovation…