Shareholder Ledger Using Distributed Ledger Technology: The Estonian Perspective

Anne Veerpalu

Abstract

The article focuses on whether it is possible to use new technologies such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) in shareholder ledger maintenance systems. The article uses Estonia as an example to describe the shortcomings of shareholder ledger maintenance regulation and possible suggestions for reform and applies the principle of technology-neutrality to the subject matter to assess whether the regulation allows the adoption of new technologies, such as DLT, in ledger maintenance. The aim of the principle of technology-neutrality is to secure that the regulator does not create regulation that prefers any particular technology and discriminates against other technologies. Any regulation that is built around a pre-existing technology could suffer from preferring the use of that particular technology and consequently hinder innovation. In the article it is examined whether the ledger maintenance models used in Estonia are benefitting or suffering from the non-existence of technology-neutral technical standards for ledger maintenance and whether the differentiation of treatment of shareholder  ledger administrators is justified on the basis of the principle of technology-neutrality.

Keywords

Distributed Ledger Technology; DLT-Specific Legislation; Shareholder Ledger Administration; Technology-Neutrality Principle

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