Blockchain projects and their legal complexity

Blockchain projects and their legal complexity

Blockchain technology is still unknown for so many people, and there are some who doesn’t even know what the term means, complicating the understanding of the new financial alternatives that are still second to Fiat currency.

This technology has become a debating point among some governments. Some of them look at it as a threat to their interests, while others consider it a true alternative of financial development that might greatly benefit several sectors, as some experts say.

CoinDesk researchers Mark Radcliffe and Victoria Lee believe this new system is a major technologic breakthrough, but despite its great strides its application and development is still complex.

Both researches say software licensed under open source licenses (OSS) is fundamental to the success of Blockchain projects. Those rights enable a collaborative and decentralized development, encourage a fast user adoption and allow the community to “divide” the project to solve strategic conflicts.

Radcliffe and Lee said two of the best examples are Ethereum and Bitcoin. The two major projects _ some of the world’s most influential _ use OSS.

For the Blockchain community isn’t less important the OSS license that allows to perform legally and completely the job for which it was intended, without any inconvenience in its development.

According to their own experience, Radcliffe and Lee refer to previous statements from Jerry Cuomo (Vice President of Blockchain technology for IBM), who claims the complexity of the Ethereum OSS licenses was the reason the company shifted from Ethereum to their own Blockchain, which is a part of the HyperLedger project.

This research underscores the importance of some points that must be considered in the application of these licenses:

  • The complexity of the OSS project license or licenses
  • The potential difficulty of complying with the obligations of such OSS license
  • The potential challenges of integrating a Blockchain project with other software projects.

OSS licenses vary dramatically in their terms. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has approved 83 licenses as "open source."

These are crucial points for investors and users of a Blockchain project to decide which project adopt, using the same criteria others use with OSS license.

There are two types of known OSS licenses that stand out, which are very important for those immersed in the Blockchain technology world: “Copyleft” and “permissive.”

Ethereum is under two copyleft licenses: Lesser General Public License 3.0 (LGPLv3) and the General Public License 3.0 (GPLv3). On the other hand, Bitcoin works under the MIT License, the most popular in the Blockchain technology world.


By Iván Fajardo

  • Ivan Dario Fajardo

    Ivan Dario Fajardo

    Nacionalidad colombiana, con amplia experiencia en el mundo de las ventas, negocios y conocimiento en diferentes lineas de mercado.

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