Darius Jenner Pullinger

Thesis title:

Distributed Ledger Technologies and Smart Contracts: Challenges and Opportunities for the London Insurance Market (CASE project with Lloyd’s of London)


Ledgers are ancient tools for recording assets such as money and property. Modern advances in technology have enabled the existence of a distributed ledger – a database that can be shared and updated simultaneously (and transparently) across all users of a system without each user having to separately amend its own records. The radical nature of this technology (DLT) arises in conjunction with other applications, such as ‘smart’ contracts – in which contract terms can be automatically executed by a computing system. Darius’s proposes to investigate these technologies via themes that have emerged from a preliminary survey of the topic. Understanding how these technologies are being taken up and how the industry adds value enables an analysis of how the market can adapt.DLT and related technologies rely on two types of code: legal and technical – the right balance needs to be struck. As humans still must define the rules legal code is still of central importance. Who should be subject to those rules? With increased mechanisation control becomes more centralised – what does this mean for a human being’s relationship with rules and the law? Finally, it can be said that DLT and associated technologies are at the radical end of the change spectrum – how could this come about and what effect could it have on society? A sense of the radical emerges through the dramatic effect such technology can have on hierarchies and the increased level of complexity that such technology brings to commercial and human relationships.

First supervisor:

Miriam Goldby

CASE partner:

Lloyds of London


4 – Economics, Finance & the World Economy