The best books on cryptoassets, blockchain (& law)

If you’re a lawyer looking to learn about cryptoassets, smart contracts and blockchain, where do you start? And if you’re interested in DLT and crypto, but you want to read about the legal discussion and open legal questions, where do you start?

Here are some excellent crypto- and blockchain-related books to get started. Both easy-read intro’s and academic titles:

Easy-reads:

For the academics or practitioners among us:

  • Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code by P. De Filippi and A. Wright, Harvard University Press (2018). A book written when Bitcoin and Ethereum were at much earlier stages, but it remains a very helpful introduction for beginners to the general legal questions raised by blockchain, digital assets and smart contracts.

  • Blockhain Regulation & Governance in Europe by M. Finck, Cambridge University Press (2018). A relatively short, high-level overview of legal issues and challenges for a non-expert legal audience. Very good starting point for beginners.

  • Regulating Blockchain: Techno-Social and Legal Challenges, edited by P. Hacker, I. Lianos, G. Dimitropoulos, and S. Eich, Oxford University Press (2019). A collection of chapters on various legal challenges of blockchain, including ICO regulation, blockchain in financial markets and the question whether core developers should have fiduciary duties.

  • Cryptoassets: Legal, Regulatory, and Monetary Perspectives, edited by C. Brummer, Oxford University Press (2019). Also a collection of chapters on various topics, including the law and finance of ICOs, blockchain tech for derivatives markets, cryptoasset valuation and crypto-assets in a historical context.

  • Cryptocurrencies in Public and Private Law, edited by D. Fox and S. Green, Oxford University Press (2019). This book goes beyond the regulatory questions and offers chapters on how conflicts of laws could apply in the crypto-context, taxation, the property aspects of cryptoassets and cryptoassets in public international law.

  • Blockchain + Antitrust by Dr. Thibault Schrepel explores the linkages between blockchain and antitrust (how can blockchain help achieve antitrust goals and how can it be used for anticompetitive purposes?). The e-book is freely available online and the most recent one in this list.

  • Oxford University Press has a Handbook on smart contracts in the pipeline: Smart Legal Contracts, edited by Jason Allen and Peter Hunn. Expected April 2022.

I’ve probably missed some excellent books and I’ll update this list periodically. Meanwhile: enjoy!

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