Made up of attorneys, corporate lawyers and college professors, the Association of Blockchain and Crypto Lawyers was created in September 2022. Meet its co-founder.
JDN. How did this association of blockchains and cryptocurrencies come about?
Hubert de Vauplane. It was born from an idea that I had in my heart, born from another experience about twenty years ago, that of creating a banking and financial law association that operated according to the same principle, with a mix of professors, lawyers and operators cheap. On the other hand, I noticed that such an association did not exist despite a real need for discussions on legal issues.
You say this initiative does not exist: does it mean that you are different from Adan (the Association for the Development of Digital Assets)?
Above all, we don’t want to step on our flower beds. Adan supports players in the blockchain ecosystem with a view to obtaining the most effective regulation for them, as well as the French Banking Federation or the Insurance Federation. It is a corporate tool in the noble sense of the term, a lobbying tool. It is not a question of regulation but of substantive law, such as property right, property right or contract law: for example, what constitutes ownership of a digital asset? How to transfer a digital asset from point A to point B in international law? What is the law applicable to a digital asset when it is not attached to particular legislation? Clearly, we reflect on pure issues of law.
Does the birth of your association mean that these technologies imply a rethinking of the existing legal framework?
I tend to say no because our law is flexible enough to accommodate 80% of new technologies. However, the question really arises and I will give the most eloquent example, that of ownership: with the creation of patents we have created a new form of ownership, ownership over an intangible asset that is very different from ownership, for example, of a home. The notion of ownership was changed on this occasion. We ask ourselves the same questions for a digital asset, which is also why ownership of this type of asset is changing in the United States. It is therefore possible that there is a need to change the fundamental right for digital assets.
“We will open up to find the best French and international skills on these issues”
What will be the first issues on which your association will work?
We plan to launch a first project on the notion of control over a digital asset, which is a concept that arises from an American law project on the one hand and, on the other, from an international project called Unidroit., and that allows you to learn property from a different angle from that which is done today in civil law. The other theme concerns DAOs and decentralized finance. It is an even more international topic, which is why we want to avoid thinking in French-French terms. For each subject, we will open up beyond just the members of the association to seek the best French and international skills on these issues. For DAOs in particular, we will look closely at what is happening abroad before making recommendations for France and Europe.
Do you set yourself deadlines to conclude these reflections?
For these two projects we would like to finish our work before next summer, in particular because the work on DAO and DeFi (decentralized finance, ed) they are also part of an order of the MFA to the High Legal Committee of the financial center of Paris, which deals with these issues from a regulatory point of view. We will do it from a more legal point of view.
Doctor of Law, Hubert de Vauplane he has spent most of his career in investment and retail banking. Oddo’s former broker, he becomes legal director of BNP Paribas and then of the Crédit Agricole group. Partner of Kramer Levin since 2011, he is also a professor at Sciences Po Paris.