LLAW6126 & JDOC6126

General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6126 / JDOC6126
Course name: e-Finance: Law, Compliance and Technology Challenges
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: June
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits

1.2 Course description

The overall aim of this course is to help students understand how money is legally made in contemporary legal orders with a special emphasis on the recent proliferation of alternative forms of money like cryptocurrencies.

The course is organized in 4 units. The first one will broach conceptions of money from a theoretical perspective, covering the most important definitions of what counts as money from a legal perspective. The second one will be dedicated to the legal architecture of money in the contemporary State. This section will focus especially on constitutional provisions about money, the definition of legal tender, the creation of independent central banks, and the concept of central banks’ reserve. The third section (the longest one) will analyse the legal nature of some of the most important cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ether, XRP) by looking at case law, legal regulation by parliaments and executives, regulation by independent or semi-independent agencies (tax and revenues agencies, security and exchange commission, etc etc), and other uses by code-designers themselves, such as NFTs or smart contracts. The analysis will be conducted from a comparative perspective and will cover some of the most important jurisdictions. The fourth part of the course will cover some potential future experiments currently under consideration by public institutions in certain States with these new forms of money: central bank digital currencies and the people’s ledger.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Marco Goldoni Marco.goldoni@glasgow.ac.uk TBA By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 On successful completion of the course, students should be able to distinguish and understand the main defining traits of the most influential legal conceptions of money, and to assess the political, moral and social complexity surrounding monetary policies and regulations in the contemporary world.

CLO 2 On successful completion of the course, students should be able to apply legal conceptions of the law to a different array of cryptocurrencies and to the legal issues that have arisen since the introduction of these new currencies.

CLO 3 On successful completion of the course students should be able to describe and critique the impact of technological and monetary innovation in contemporary legal orders, and the relative contributions of legislators, regulators, courts, code designers, social movements in addressing the novelty represented by these new forms of money.

2.2 LLM and JD Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link:

LLM – https://course.law.hku.hk/llm-plo/

JD – https://course.law.hku.hk/jd-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Participation in class N/A 10% 1, 3 1, 2, 3
Online multiple choice questions TBA 10% 1 1, 2
Take home exam TBA 80% 1, 3 1, 2, 3
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar 3-hour seminars in an intensive mode in June semester
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

Part I. Legal conceptions of money

I.A. Markets and currency: Hayek

I.B. The Constitutional concept of money

I.C. Modern Monetary Theory

I.D. The Social Ontology of Money

Part II. The Legal Architecture of Money

II.A. Legal Tender

II.B. Independent Central Banks

II.C. Central Banks’ Reserve and the Banking System

Part III. The Legal nature of Cryptocurrencies

III.A. Blockchain and the most important Cryptos

III.B. Comparative analysis of case law on Bitcoin and XRP

III.C. Regulators and the legal nature of cryptocurrencies: money, security, property

III.D. NFTs and Smart Contracts: technological features and case law

Part IV. Public experiments with Crypto

IV.A. Central Bank digital Currencies

IV.B. The People’s ledger and Quantitative easing for the people

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/