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British Academy awards Professor Michael Schillig Mid-Career Fellowship

Michael Schillig, Professor in The Dickson Poon School of Law, has received the award for his project ‘The Too-Big-To-Fail Problem and the Blockchain Solution’ which explores how blockchain technology could revolutionise the bail-out of underperforming banks.

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The British Academy has awarded £3.5 million in Mid-Career Fellowships to 30 outstanding academics whose research will contribute towards public understanding of the humanities and social sciences.

Michael Schillig, Professor in The Dickson Poon School of Law, has received the award for his project ‘The Too-Big-To-Fail Problem and the Blockchain Solution’ which explores how blockchain technology could revolutionise the bail-out of underperforming banks.

Project abstract

‘The project seeks to explore whether blockchain technology – the platform that supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin – may contribute to solving the 'too-big-to-fail' problem. This is the problem that large financial institutions will almost inevitably be bailed out with public money when they fail. Such bailouts may have catastrophic consequences for public finances; the resulting austerity measures and the cutting back of public services are likely to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable members of society. Law cannot prevent future bailouts: out of political self-interest, public authorities and policymakers are likely to by-pass the new anti-bailout legal frameworks. However, as a distributed ledger system, the blockchain is decentralised and cannot be controlled by any policy maker or regulatory authority. Its smart contract capabilities may contribute to solving the politically and socially intractable problems of implementation and application of resolution frameworks, whilst challenging traditional notions of contract, property and financial supervision.’

Read more about the award on The British Academy website.