10th ICCML Forum

Blockchain

On 2 November 2018 the Institute for Corporate and Capital Markets Law (ICCML) hosted the 10th Hamburg Forum on Corporate and Capital Markets Law. The conference focused on the blockchain – a rising technology that thanks to digital „currencies“ such as Bitcoin has grown to become one of the most discussed issues among legal researchers within a period of a few years.

Speakers from academia and practice shed light on the technology from a corporate and capital markets point of view. Sebastian Förste, attorney at Winheller Rechtsanwälte & Steuerberater in Frankfurt a.M., gave the kick-off speech on technical aspects of blockchains. He gave an introduction to the functioning of Bitcoin and explained how smart contracts work using the example of Ethereum. Subsequently, the lawyer illustrated possible fields of action in legal practice.

After that the ICCML’s managing director Prof. Dr. Thilo Kuntz shared his thoughts on blockchain-based annual shareholder meetings. He pointed to the deficiencies of the current legal framework for annual meetings and continued discussing upcoming reforms. Building upon that Prof. Dr. Kuntz set forth how the communication with investors as well as the voting system might be implemented „on chain“. In doing so he also mentioned the legal limits of such ambitions.