Blockchain and Other Disruptive Business-tech Challenges to the Law


Course Objective

At the end of this course, students are expected to be able to:

- Understand, at a functional level, how these (and possibly other)
disruptive technologies work, how they circumvent or defeat tradition
- Understand and critically evaluate the traditional legal approaches in
the areas covered by these disruptive technologies.
- Explain their own well-founded opinion on the tasks and challenges for
the law.

Course Content

New technologies, such as, inter alia, blockchain, the sharing economy
and fintech challenge the existing order, by posing new questions
concerning responsibility, liability, complaince with existing rules,
governance, and ultimately a state’s power to regulate and enforce
within its own territory.
Technologies challenge us to re-consider: why do we have regulation
covering these respective areas in the first place. What do we want to
achieve? Is that still relevant? If so, is there any way in which we
still can strive to these goals?
For example, blockchain technology underlies phenomena like
cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, effectively undermining the need
for trusted third parties like banks, public notaries, etc. As things
are today, what do we need trusted third parties for? Is the regulation
that empowers them still relevant and necessary? How can we protect
consumers, how can we guarantee financial stability?
The course is not just about the challenges that use of new technologies
pose to the law, but also about how the law can enable and shape new
technologies and maybe steer developments in a certain direction.
In this course an attempt is made to map the area, to discuss the issues
with the students, in order to shape our understanding of what is going
on and form an opinion.

Teaching Methods

Weekly lectures, and three seminars. For the seminars, students are
expected to have prepared assignments.

Method of Assessment

Two written assignments: one that may be done in pairs and one that must
be done individually. Each assignment contributes 50% to the final


The required literature will be made available on Canvas.

Target Audience

Apart from regular students, the course is also available for:
Students from other universities/faculties
Exchange students
Contractor (students who pay for one course)

Courses from a master at the faculty can only be taken as a secondary
course if you have a diploma that gives access to the relevant master/
specialization and if you are enrolled in a master.

General Information

Course Code R_IBIT
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator dr. mr. M. van der Linden
Examiner mr. T.H.A. Wisman
Teaching Staff dr. mr. M. van der Linden

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: