Blockchain: From 'Why' to 'What' and Regulating 'How'

Scott Farrell, Partner, King & Wood Mallesons, Australia
Jimmy Kvarnström, Head of Nordic/Baltic Legal, NASDAQ, Sweden
Andreas Gustafsson, Senior Vice President, Chief Counsel Europe Nasdaq, NASDAQ OMX, Sweden

Blockchain has been the technological darling of the financial press in the last year. Once a niche technology familiar only to bitcoin enthusiasts and journalists, blockchain has captured the interest and infrastructure spend of legislators, regulators, investment banks, financial markets and venture capital funds. The technology behind and justification for blockchains has been comprehensively discussed – the time has now come to move from “why” to “for what” and “how”. In this article we provide an overview of how blockchain can be used in financial markets and consider the regulatory changes required for such a development.

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Australia Sweden Regulation General July 2016 Vol. 9, No. 36, Summer 2016

Scott Farrell

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Scott Farrell is a senior partner with more than 20 years’ experience in financial markets and financial systems law, advising market participants, exchanges, clearing and payment systems, regulators and governments in Australia and Asia. Scott has given many years of service to the public and private sector in advising on, and guiding, regulatory and legal change in the financial market and system landscape. In the last few years, Scott has applied his experience to advise both government and industry on the use, risks and impact of blockchain in banking & finance and financial markets. He advises clients on the creation and use of blockchain applications, including its interaction with existing legal and regulatory frameworks (and required reforms). In 2016, Scott was appointed to the Australian Government’s FinTech Advisory Group at its formation and coordinates its blockchain stream. Scott and his team are at the leading edge of legal thinking in the use of smart contracts on and off blockchain. They have published their own open source smart contract architecture for collaboration with the wider legal and tech community, and advise both technology and financial services clients on fintech use and development. Scott’s team is Australia's leading team of derivatives lawyers, acting as counsel to many Australian and international financial institutions, market infrastructure providers, state entities, funds, corporates and industry bodies (including ISDA) in relation to derivatives transactions, collateral, netting and regulation. In recognition of his market-leading work, Scott was listed as one of the FT’s Top 10 Innovative Individuals and his team’s work on the Australian Payments Clearing Association saw KWM win the FT Innovation in Finance Law Award.

Jimmy Kvarnström

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Jimmy Kvarnström, Vice President and Head of Nordic/Baltic legal and compliance at Nasdaq Nordic. The Nordic/Baltic legal and compliance team consists of 15 lawyers and compliance officers throughout Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Baltics. The team provides broad legal, regulatory and compliance support to Nasdaq regulated businesses in Europe, including eight exchanges, one central counterpart (CCP) and four central securities depositories (CSD:s). The company group supported by the unit consists of 60 legal entities out of which eight are regulated, holding 20 licenses and authorizations in eight jurisdictions.

Andreas Gustafsson

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Andreas Gustafsson, Senior Vice President/Chief Counsel Europe Nasdaq, is managing the group that provides legal and regulatory support to Nasdaq´s European regulated entities including Exchanges, CCP:s, CSD:s and investment firm in 10 jurisdictions. The responsibility also includes the Surveillance department, which is providing monitoring of members and issuers to the Nordic Exchanges, and the EU affairs department, which is located in Brussels and covers Nasdaq’s work on all major governmental initiatives in Europe. Andreas has been working 10 years at Nasdaq and previously at the Swedish FSA, where he was involved in European working groups such as MiFID.

NASDAQ OMX

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NASDAQ OMX is the world’s largest exchange company with trading, technology and public company service capability spanning 6 continents. NASDAQ OMX offers capital raising solutions to companies around the globe and is number one in worldwide listings with more than 3,600 listed companies representing $4.5 trillion in total market value. NASDAQ OMX offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and ETFs. Its technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges in 50 countries. Through its Data and Financial Products units, NASDAQ OMX provides its companies and investors with unrivaled market insight and visibility across multiple trading pools.

King & Wood Mallesons

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NASDAQ OMX

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NASDAQ OMX is the world’s largest exchange company with trading, technology and public company service capability spanning 6 continents. NASDAQ OMX offers capital raising solutions to companies around the globe and is number one in worldwide listings with more than 3,600 listed companies representing $4.5 trillion in total market value. NASDAQ OMX offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and ETFs. Its technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges in 50 countries. Through its Data and Financial Products units, NASDAQ OMX provides its companies and investors with unrivaled market insight and visibility across multiple trading pools.

Australia Sweden Regulation General July 2016 Vol. 9, No. 36, Summer 2016