Vol.15 Issue 2 (2019)

Hitting the White Ball: The Technology Neutrality Principle and Blockchain-Based Applications

Anne Veerpalu & Eduardo da Cruz Rodrigues e Silva

This article provides a legal analysis model for legislators to employ in order to identify non-compliance with the technology neutrality principle in cases of use of blockchain technology. The principle of technology neutrality is aimed at supporting innovation and competition. The article uses the treatment of an application called CUBER in Estonia as early as in 2014 as an example for such analysis. The CUBER mobile application used blockchain technology to execute payment transactions for goods and services. The article first portrays the challenges that the technology neutrality principle poses on existing regulation. It then explores whether technology discrimination took place against CUBER and how this could have been avoided through compliance with the technology neutrality principle. Through this analysis, the article maps the challenges that all start-ups encounter when initiating the use of a new technology aiming to innovate an existing process.

Author

Anne Veerpalu is an attorney-at-law and a PhD candidate of Law, University of Tartu, Estonia. Anne constructed the structure of the research, conducted the data search and the interviews, drafted the first version of the article and edited the final version of the article. ** Eduardo da Cruz Rodrigues e Silva is an associate of NJORD Law Firm and holds a Master’s degree in Law and Technology from TalTech, Estonia. Eduardo researched the e-money regulation’s historical perspective, the securities regulation, edited the first draft and re-edited the draft article after peer-reviews.