University of Exeter: University of Exeter Law School professor recognised in parliament speech


During the first debate on Cryptoasset Regulation held on Wednesday 7th September at Westminster Hall, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes cited Dr Robert Herian’s work on Blockchain Regulation and further recommended Dr Herian’s 2018 book “Regulating Blockchain” to his fellow parliamentarians.

Dr Herian and Mr Docherty-Hughes crossed paths at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blockchain in April this year. Today in Parliament, Mr Docherty-Hughes has praised Dr Herian’s work by saying “I was able to meet Dr Robert Herian, now of the University of Exeter, and I am much indebted to the work he has done, particularly in his 2018 book “Regulating Blockchain”, which will provide the basis of some of the suggestions I make today. If Members are interested in the subject, they should buy a copy of the book. I am sure Dr Herian will be glad of the plug.”

Throughout the remainder of the debate, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes continued to reference the work of Dr Herian and provides quotations to his fellow Parliamentarians from his book.

Blockchain technologies first emerged as the architecture making Bitcoin work after the 2008 financial crisis. The transparency and traceability associated with blockchains could help to provide electoral regulatory scrutiny. However, Dr Herian calls for “effective co-design” between lawmakers, regulators and technology stakeholders to ensure digital infrastructure and applications have clear and meaningful public purpose “beyond novelty, hype, or fiscal savings”.

Dr Herian has also warned technologies such as blockchain can be used to promote individual interests instead of those of communities or countries. Major problems with digital infrastructure will also need to be solved.

Dr Robert Herian, Associate Professor at the University of Exeter Law School said: “I have been working with and advising parliamentarians for a number of years on legal questions on Blockchain, and I have also contributed to policy discussions and discussions on regulation. However, this is the first time an MP has gone on the record referencing my work. This is a very important research impact milestone and I hope to be able to further develop my policy work in Parliament and beyond.”

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