An initiative to clarify the status of assets created by digital encryption techniques such as blockchain is one of the first outputs of the government-backed LawTech Delivery Panel. The panel's UK Jurisdiction Taskforce today opens a consultation on ending the uncertainty about whether 'cryptoassets' can be treated as property in England and Wales private law and on the legal status of self-executing 'smart contracts'. 

The taskforce's chair, Sir Geffrey Vos, chancellor of the High Court, said earlier this month that legal uncertainty is holding back the exploitation of the new techniques. In the foreword he writes: ’Mainstream investors still need to be convinced that their legal rights can be protected when they trade in cryptoassets and enter into smart contracts.’

The taskforce aims to create 'an authoritative legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law'.

The consultation closes on 21 June.