Authors: Jonas Gross, Manuel Klein, Philipp Sandner

Recently, the Digital Euro Association, a thinktank around the digitization of money, was launched to help shaping the discussion around the digitization of money — especially in the Euro area — to stimulate public discourse and act as a unified voice on digital money. In this article, we discuss current initiatives around the digitization of money and outline how the Digital Euro Association fits into this discussion.

Introduction

While digital money is becoming increasingly relevant, cash has been losing its importance as a means of payment steadily over the past years. This trend is…


Authors: Martin Schäffner, Constantin Lichti, Jonas Gross, Philipp Sandner

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the potential to address industrial challenges, build trust, and unlock new value across businesses and industries via the use of smart contracts. Initially, DLT was mainly used for financial applications, such as Bitcoin as the first and most prominent application of DLT. However, today, DLT is more and more used for applications outside the financial context. Examples include use cases in trade or in the manufacturing industry. …


Authors: Philipp Sandner, Jonas Gross, Ilia Drozdov

This article sheds light on the application of blockchain technology to the existing financial market infrastructure, namely to post-trade settlement. We show how blockchain technology can facilitate trustless delivery vs. payment (DVP) settlement without any intermediary. Moving settlement processes entirely on decentral technologies makes the settlement process more efficient since it decreases the associated transaction costs and reduces involved risks. Hence, the blockchain-based multichain atomic swap technology will become a peer-to-peer alternative to a central clearing counterparty that normally facilitates the DVP settlement of financial assets.

Introduction

Blockchain technology is more and more applied…


Authors: Markus Kaulartz, Jonas Gross, Constantin Lichti, Philipp Sandner, Daniel Holk

In this article, we analyze from a legal perspective under which circumstances companies providing specific financial services require regulatory approval. We differentiate in our legal assessment between (i) finance leasing, (ii) factoring services, and (iii) sales financing. Furthermore, we offer suggestions for the practical implementation. The article assumes the application of German laws.

Preamble

This article is the third publication of the series “legal aspects of blockchain technology” by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC), Datarella, and CMS Hasche Sigle. This research is part of the KOSMoS project, a research…


Authors: Alexander Bechtel, Jonas Gross, Philipp Sandner

The European Central Bank (ECB) has recently published a report on the digital euro. The report defines scenarios under which a digital euro will be introduced and specifies principles and requirements a digital euro would have to comply with. In this article, we evaluate the ECB’s report and discuss its three most important aspects that should help with the interpretation of the report.

Summary of the report

On October 2, 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its long-awaited report on the digital euro, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the euro area. The ECB addresses…


Authors: Markus Kaulartz, Jonas Gross, Constantin Lichti, Philipp Sandner, Daniel Holk

In this article, we analyze from a legal perspective whether a smart contract can replace a physical contract set up between various business parties. We differentiate in our legal assessment between 1) the smart contract itself being the text of the contract, and 2) the smart contract only being used to execute a contract concluded elsewhere. Furthermore, we offer suggestions for the practical implementation. The article analyzes German laws.

Preamble

This article is the second publication of the series “legal aspects of blockchain technology” by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center…


Authors: Alexander Bechtel, Jonas Gross, Philipp Sandner, Victor von Wachter

“Programmable money” is, without doubt, one of the major buzzwords in the blockchain space in 2020. Even though everyone seems to talk about it, we still lack a clear definition and hence common understanding of this term. In this article, we present a taxonomy of programmable money. In particular, we argue that “programmable money” has to be differentiated from “programmable payments”. …


Authors: Philipp Sandner, Jonas Gross, Philipp Schulden, Lena Grale

On July 29, 2020 the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center published a working paper that sheds light on the perception of payment initiatives by interviewing more than 50 senior experts. In this study, we analyze the impact of digital programmable Euro initiatives, such as the Libra stablecoin, and CBDCs, on banks. We find that both Libra and a Euro CBDC might heavily affect European banks. With this article, we provide a summary of the study’s research results. The PDF document can be found here.

Introduction

Existing payment systems get more and more disrupted…


Authors: Markus Kaulartz, Jonas Gross, Constantin Lichti, Philipp Sandner

This article addresses the question how a blockchain transaction must be structured so that it can be used as evidence in court. Based on the following different types of formal evidence — namely (1) expert opinion, (2) documents/deeds, (3) inspection or visual evidence, and (4) witnesses and party hearings — we analyze the evidence assessment of a blockchain transaction in detail. The article analyzed the laws and rules of the jurisdiction of Germany.

Preamble

This article is the first publication of the series “legal aspects of blockchain technology” by the Frankfurt School…


On July 23, 2020, the FinTech Council of the German Federal Ministry of Finance (German: FinTechRat des Bundesministerium der Finanzen) published a statement about the digital, programmable Euro. With this article, we provide an unofficial translation of the German version of the paper with the goal to make the content also available to non-German speaking readers. More information can be found on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Finance. The PDF document can be found here. — Authors of the unofficial translation: Philipp Sandner, Jonas Gross

Abstract

The purpose of this document is first to define the term ‘digital…

Jonas Gross

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