Peder Østbye ‘The Adequacy of Competition Policy for Cryptocurrency’

This working paper – available here – discusses whether traditional competition policy instruments such as antitrust and regulation are adequate to address competition concerns in the cryptocurrency field. In short, the author finds that traditional competition policy instruments are inadequate. The paper is structured as follows: Section 2 describes the topic. It begins with a short description of how means of payment (i.e. money and the like) are created. It then explains how the current monetary and financial system creates risks of excessive production of money, leading to inflation and/or asset-bubbles, which can lead to a decline of trust in a system that is reliant on it to function. Various bank regulations and public policies – such as capital regulation and deposit insurance – and rescue policies – such as lender of last resort – have been introduced to increase trust in the system. The paper then moves to a description of cryptocurrencies, which have a fundamentally different nature from…

Ajinkya M. Tulpule ‘Compliance And Enforcement in a Blockchain(ed) World’

This paper,  by a senior staff member of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, is the first attempt I know of to address the implications of the blockchain for competition law. It can be found here: https://www.competitionpolicyinternational.com/compliance-and-enforcement-in-a-blockchained-world/ The paper first defines key terms to ensure that the reader understands the main concepts related to the blockchain, which are obscure to the uninitiated – concepts such as “distributed ledger”, ‘smart contract”, and, let’s be honest, “blockchain”. A second section then lists the potential benefits of blockchain technologies in the enforcement of competition law. According to the author, the most pertinent utility of a blockchain in competition enforcement is likely to be related to obtaining and processing large volumes of transactional and non-transactional data – which can be relevant for merger control, cartel investigations and, at a minimum, for monitoring commitments in abuse of dominance matters. The third and last section is devoted to the potential of the blockchain for the implementation of competition…