Ilias Ioannou

Thesis title:

If blockchain is the answer, what is the question? The legal and economic implications of using blockchain technology in container shipping


The project will examine the legal implications across the global supply chain of replacing paper transport documents with blockchain records in container transportation.The use of blockchain can result in many advantages: as a secure technology, it has the potential to reduce fraud, as an electronic platform granting simultaneous access to real-time data to multiple participants in the supply chain, it has the potential to reduce delays and because it does away with the need for manual processing of information recorded on paper, it would inevitably reduce administrative costs and errors. However, the legal framework to enable and regulate potential blockchain alternatives to paper is as yet very undeveloped and there is a risk that there will be a formal legal void surrounding their use and the associated risks.This research will therefore focus on the following key questions:1. How may blockchain be used to replace paper bills of lading? How might blockchain alternatives interact with insurance and international payment systems? Could they give rise to new and innovative trade finance solutions?2. What are the key legal issues raised by the development and use of Blockchain transferable records operating on global trade platforms?3. How would the legislative environment need to change in order to accommodate the emerging global trade blockchain platforms?

First supervisor:

Miriam Goldby

CASE partner:

Maritime UK


5 – Work, Organisations & Business Management