The aim of the thesis is to explore how the spread of blockchain technology can affect our society and the relevant legal relationships among individuals in the logistics and shipping industry, i.e. one of the sectors of economy which is making the greatest efforts to embrace such a ‘revolution’. As it will be argued in the paper, the result probably lies somewhere in between a 'regulatory presence' and a 'cyber-anarchist' approach. For the law, it means that one should not use the full enforcement arsenal in all circumstances and the legal constraints should be adapted to technology (e.g. by creating legal comfort zones with regulatory sandboxes and safe harbours aimed at studying the impact of blockchain on some specific industries); for technology, it implies that it must be law-oriented. In this vein, the crucial and barycentric importance of tailoring a new role for the ‘ordinary’ law in its interaction with the so-called 'lex cryptographica' shall be duly explored and stressed in order to create a proper ‘law of blockchain’ which may (i) bridge the gap between the technology and the real landscape in which it would be supposed to operate; (ii) enable distributed ledgers to find a proper and functional use and, therefore, (iii) allow for trust in the blockchain not only by single ‘nodes’ in the online world but, rather, by all the people living in the real, ‘physical’, world. Achieving such a goal is paramount if we wish to prevent all the evocative promises of a ‘blockchain revolution’ on real life from boiling down to what William Shakespeare defined as ‘Much ado about nothing’. In this vein, the research project has been carried out with a multidisciplinary approach, which nevertheless allows to sketch some conclusion de iure condendo on the issues indicated above with reference to logistics and shipping industry, which undoubtedly constitutes a useful and interesting role model, principally due (i) to need by the maritime industry to find innovative ways of remaining competitive in a fast-changing world (especially after the recent and disruptive outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic ) while still addressing such longstanding concerns as intensive paperwork, tedious processes and data transparency; (ii) to the potential that blockchain technology hold in addressing industry concerns regarding trust among operators, data integrity, traceability, timeliness ad transparency; (iii) to several underlying analogies that such a distributed ledger shares with the ancestors of the documents that still govern maritime shipments and any related contractual relationships.

The deployment of blockchain technology in the logistics and shipping industry: possible outcomes and need of uniform regulation

BERGAMINO, ANDREA
2022-05-31

Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to explore how the spread of blockchain technology can affect our society and the relevant legal relationships among individuals in the logistics and shipping industry, i.e. one of the sectors of economy which is making the greatest efforts to embrace such a ‘revolution’. As it will be argued in the paper, the result probably lies somewhere in between a 'regulatory presence' and a 'cyber-anarchist' approach. For the law, it means that one should not use the full enforcement arsenal in all circumstances and the legal constraints should be adapted to technology (e.g. by creating legal comfort zones with regulatory sandboxes and safe harbours aimed at studying the impact of blockchain on some specific industries); for technology, it implies that it must be law-oriented. In this vein, the crucial and barycentric importance of tailoring a new role for the ‘ordinary’ law in its interaction with the so-called 'lex cryptographica' shall be duly explored and stressed in order to create a proper ‘law of blockchain’ which may (i) bridge the gap between the technology and the real landscape in which it would be supposed to operate; (ii) enable distributed ledgers to find a proper and functional use and, therefore, (iii) allow for trust in the blockchain not only by single ‘nodes’ in the online world but, rather, by all the people living in the real, ‘physical’, world. Achieving such a goal is paramount if we wish to prevent all the evocative promises of a ‘blockchain revolution’ on real life from boiling down to what William Shakespeare defined as ‘Much ado about nothing’. In this vein, the research project has been carried out with a multidisciplinary approach, which nevertheless allows to sketch some conclusion de iure condendo on the issues indicated above with reference to logistics and shipping industry, which undoubtedly constitutes a useful and interesting role model, principally due (i) to need by the maritime industry to find innovative ways of remaining competitive in a fast-changing world (especially after the recent and disruptive outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic ) while still addressing such longstanding concerns as intensive paperwork, tedious processes and data transparency; (ii) to the potential that blockchain technology hold in addressing industry concerns regarding trust among operators, data integrity, traceability, timeliness ad transparency; (iii) to several underlying analogies that such a distributed ledger shares with the ancestors of the documents that still govern maritime shipments and any related contractual relationships.
blockchain; law; shipping; DLT; bill of lading; commerce; regulation; lex mercaterai; logistics; supply chain
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1082829
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