Blockchain technology not only forms the basis for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but also for trading in real assets such as cars and real estate. Especially the low cost of digital transactions opens up new opportunities, in the areas of financial services, mobility and energy, for example. These applications have been summarised under the umbrella term “token economy” in the Government press release.
The Government considers the potential of blockchain technology to be “very high” and wants to support the development of the token economy in Liechtenstein. The new Blockchain Act – for which the consultation report has now been adopted – is to provide greater legal certainty, improve client protection and reduce potential reputation risks for Liechtenstein.
The legal classification of elements on blockchain systems is a key focus of this planned law. It will introduce a new construct under the term token to “enable the transformation of the ‘real’ world to blockchain systems while ensuring legal certainty, thereby opening up the full application potential of the token economy”. Clear rules are also being set out to counter abuse in the application of this technology. There is currently legal uncertainty regarding business models on blockchain systems that are not covered by financial market legislation but nonetheless carry out activities that are very close to the financial sector. The new law also aims to define the minimum requirements for these activities.
According to Prime Minister Adrian Hasler, “as a state, we must consistently improve our framework conditions for businesses to ensure our prosperity and attractive jobs for the next generation”.