Antitrust Law and Blockchain(s): Preparing the Field

By Mariateresa Maggiolino (Bocconi University) & Laura Zoboli (University of Warsaw)

The paper sets the scene for the correct application of competition law to the blockchain technology. In particular, it provides an antitrust-based roadmap to be applied – on a case-by-case basis – to blockchain scenarios. To this end, the paper first defines the blockchain phenomenon (paragraph 1) and the relevant antitrust law categories (paragraph 2). In light of these definitions, the paper critically discusses the competition challenges that blockchain may pose – either as a technology (paragraph 3) or as a tool, i.e. as place(s) where other products and services can be distributed (paragraph 4). Finally, the authors find current competition law to be already well equipped for tackling the blockchain – and that for competition authorities to be effective, the onus should fall more on the technical tools at their disposal rather than on increasing their prerogatives.

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