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Article

Some risks of tokenization and blockchainzation of private law

The paper is focused on the analysis of the problems that may be driven by mass tokenization of the objects of civil law, i.e. the creation of a digital representations of such objects in the form of a record in blockchain where the value of such objects is transferred subsequently by means of disposal of such tokens, which is a subject of separate rights to it. The paper outlines two core problems, which were inspired by recent legislative activities in Belarus and Russia: 1) a possible displacement of existing legal regimes of objects of civil rights by the legal regime of the token; 2) the problem of definition of the nature of rights to token (in rem vs. ad personam) as well as remedies for their violations. Provisions of the Belarus Decree “On the development of digital economy” of 21 December 2017 and drafts of the laws on blockchain and ICO, discussed in Russian Parliament and Government were taken to illustrate these problems.