Webinar on the ELI Principles on the Use of Digital Assets as Security


On 26 April, ELI organised a webinar on the recently approved ELI Principles on the Use of Digital Assets as Security.

The webinar aimed at presenting and discussing ELI’s Principles on the Use of Digital Assets as Security. In particular, the Principles focus on situations where security providers secure the performance of their obligations vis-à-vis security takers by using digital assets as collateral under the terms of a security agreement.

ELI President, Pascal Pichonnaz (Professor, University of Fribourg), opened the event by emphasising that the Principles are significant and are a timely contribution to legal discussions on digital assets and their various uses. The Principles also propose ways to identify the law applicable to the creation of security interests in digital assets, and address issues of relevance to the effectiveness of security interests in digital assets against third parties, as well as the enforcement and extinction of security interests in digital assets.

Phoebus Athanassiou (Co-Drafter of the Principles; Senior Lead Legal Counsel, European Central Bank; Associate Professor, Institute of Law & Finance, Goethe University) went on to present the ELI Principles. He focused on three aspects, namely on the definition of ‘digital assets’ developed for the purposes of the Report, on the type of ‘access’ the Team aimed at in the Report, ie the use of digital assets as security for lending, and on how the balance between substantive and conflict of laws rules was struck in the Report.

Matthias Lehmann (Assessor of the ELI project on Access to Digital Assets; Professor, University of Vienna) echoed President Pichonnaz in emphasising the fact that the Principles address a problem that is very current and added that they tackled an extremely difficult topic. Among other things, he also noted that the Principles will be valuable for legislators both within and outside of the EU.

Louise Gullifer (Professor, University of Cambridge; Member of the UNIDROIT Digital Assets and Private Law Working Group) discussed the main similarities and differences between the ELI Principles and the UNIDROIT project on Digital Assets and Private Law.

Participants then engaged is lively discussions, which focused on the issue of ‘control’ (factual or legal) over the digital assets and on enforcing security rights, among several other topics.

The webinar recording is available below and the presentation by Louise Gullifer here.

To learn more about the ELI Principles, please click here.