For more than 20 years, digitization and the introduction of new technologies have fundamentally changed people's lives. It is increasingly noticeable that opportunities offered by the “sharing economy” are being taken up by consumers. Through this process, the traditional relationship between companies and consumers is disappearing and new forms of behavior and proactive consumer types are emerging. These are not short-term phenomena or trends. Rather, it is about a dynamic-disruptive transformation of established forms of business and enterprise, whose potential for change radiates to society as a whole. While the implications of Web 2.0 have long since reached a critical mass and are becoming further established alongside the outgoing traditional market participants, the introduction of blockchain technology as a key infrastructure in 2009 has initiated another transition phase towards Web 3.0. This not only influences the exchange of goods, but also marks a departure from the known rules, models and conditions that have been newly created by making the underlying infrastructure (networks, platforms, etc.) superfluous. As well as to decentralize many sectors of the economy and institutional forms of organization, blockchain has the potential to increase significantly the influence of consumers on the mechanisms of economic and social interaction. Blockchain systems in the field of the sharing economy are of particular interest, being based on the fundamental idea of peer-to-peer interaction.
The goal of the JUSTiCE project is to identify evolving value chains and manifestations of the novel blockchain approach, to classify them and to investigate digitization mechanisms. The effects of the value chain transformation enabled by blockchain technology on the changes to the realm of products and services as well as on the relationship between consumers and business are to be explored. One component of the project is the analysis of the consumer policy implications and challenges presented by the new technology. The project offers additional benefits in terms of the scope and regulatory requirements for establishing “Smart Contracts” in national and European jurisdictions. The required special forms of consumer law and design forms of the technology itself are made up of legal-interdisciplinary reports.
JUSTiCE addresses the scientific interface and interdisciplinary cooperation that is required between the application-oriented sectors of business informatics, law and socioeconomics. This analysis is used to detail the opportunities, risks and legal and technical scope of the current manifestation sketched out by science and industry. It also seeks to produce recommendations for action for interest groups as well as the fields of research, politics and business. Further information about the project and the project team can be found under https://justice.wifa.uni-leipzig.de/.
Client: Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV),
Project-executing organization: Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
Project Partner: Leipzig University – Institute of Information Systems and Faculty of Law
Associated Partners: Spirit Legal LLP, AHP GmbH & Co. KG
Project Duration: April 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019