About the Bitcoin-Conference

Bitcoin and virtual currencies: new challenges for the law?

The emerging importance of virtual currencies challenges the law. Protection of means of payment is traditionally aligned with money administered by state authorities, therefore with traditional currencies and their regulation. These regulations are increasingly challenged by new currencies such as Bitcoin that are developed and administered by non-state players.

It is therefore to be discussed whether state protection is or should be limited to traditional currencies or should be widened to cover virtual currencies. Should, for example, traditional forms of property protection also apply to virtual money? Should money laundering prevention rules apply? But also traditional instruments of criminal law could need adaptation: How do instruments of criminal investigation and sanctions such as monetary fines need to be modernized? These and similar questions will be discussed by an interdisciplinary group of speakers and panelists.

Possibilities and threats of virtual currencies will be debated from a perspective of international public law as well as from practical views such as INTERPOL and national police authorities. Presentations will also focus on the innovative potential of virtual currencies and the impact on the economy. On this basis, first answers will be given, with a particular focus on issues of criminal law as well as on privacy and data security law.


Prof. Dr. Susanne Beck (Leibniz Universität Hannover)

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Forgó (Leibniz Universität Hannover)


Managing Alternatives for Privacy, Property and Internet Governance

The conference is being organised within the scope of the MAPPING project, which is co-financed by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. The project commenced in March 2014 and is scheduled to run until February 2018.

The goal of MAPPING (Managing Alternatives for Privacy, Property and Internet Governance) is to create an all-round and common understanding of the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large. MAPPING would specifically investigate and debate the existing innovation policies, business models and legal framework related to the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the changes needed to set up an improved governance structure for the EU innovation ecosystem.

The key to MAPPING’s success would be its planned mobilisation of a wide spectrum of ICT-related stakeholders and social actors from both EU Member States and associated countries. This will include academics, law and policy makers, ISPs, international and EU Internet governance bodies, NGOs and civil society organisations. The project would provide these actors with a fora for informed discussion of issues related to the digital transition -issues such as problems of personal data and IPR protection online; business models and e-government applications based on the use of personal data; economic exploitation of IPR and open innovation.

MAPPING would then move to create an Action Plan and put forward workable policy guidelines. These will be based on a multidisciplinary perspective on the latest and foreseeable developments in ICTs taking into account conflicting interests, perceptions and practices of different societal actors that shape the EU’s technological future. MAPPING would thus significantly contribute to creating an enabling framework for completing the digital transition and improving the innovation climate in the EU.