Attila Menyhárd works at the University of Eotvos Lorand, Faculty of Law, Civil Law Department (Budapest) as a full professor. He was the dean of the Faculty (2016-2019). His special research fields are: contract law, tort law and property law, company law, commercial law, law and economics, law and literature and human rights in private law as well as international commercial contracts, European business law and European company law. Upon the invitation of the Ministry of Justice, he contributed to the project on the new Hungarian Civil Code. He is the fellow to the Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, member of European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (Wien), member of UNIDROIT Governing Council and Head of the New Civil Code Advisory Board to the Supreme Court of Hungary. He is a registered member of the Arbitration Court of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Budapest and the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators. He also is of counsel to Oppenheim Law Firm (Budapest).
Cryptoassets in private law
In debates concerning cryptocurrencies and other digital assets like NFT’s the main issue seems to be how the regulation should address them. There is, however, somewhat less, or at least, more limited focus on private law aspects. Cryptocurrencies are built upon legal structures and concepts. The meaning and the consequences of such structures are far from being clear. They, however, point at the fundamental structural issues of private law, like, e.g. the distinction between contract and property. Most of the phenomena are far from being new in this respect but the old versions (like, e.g. the legal nature of tokens in casinos) have also not been analysed properly so far. Although money is a key asset in private law, there is no legal concept of money provided and relationship of the form, substance and function of money is rarely considered. As to smart contracts they are called „contract”-s but in context of blockchain they are much more about the registration of performance than the contract itself. A central issue is, how these assets are to be recognized by the law as protected legal positions. The answer is not obvious at all. If assets and / or their owners are not identified in the eyes of the law, there is no convincing policy for recognizing them as legal categories. On the other hand, they are capable of using them useful and legitim tools in property / contract law which should be promoted. The legal nature of digital assets is an important also in the law of succession which is a test of legal rejection or acknowledgement. In the focus of the contribution are the legal nature of money, NFT and smart contract. The distinction of assuming these assets as contract or as property and the consequences of this are also considered. The method is comparative and the attempt is to find the common denominator of legal systems on the one hand and UK law on the other hand. The approach is both theoretical and pragmatic. The expected result is an explanation of these phenomena with finding the path between law and socio-economic reality.
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