Kutafin Law Review

Advanced search

The Development of Contract Law in the Field of Blockchain Technologies

Full Text:


The paper provides an overview of different legal approaches to structuring contractual relations based on blockchain technology. The author considers the USA experience of building blockchainoriented contractual relations to be cutting-edge legal solutions. The paper introduces the concept of a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT). American investment lawyers invented this specific type of contract. SAFT shows the unique contractual solution that allows investors and inventors to form legal, contractual obligations that contradict neither American nor Russian contract law. The complexity of SAFT is also analyzed on the example of several recent blockchain projects and legal cases. The paper provides several approaches to optimizing Russian law and legal doctrine to new technological solutions. Among those are franchise, license, and loan agreements. The emphasis is made on the necessity of the implementation of new technology in the contract formation and amendment. The brief overview of COVID-19 challenges concerning the contract law doctrines of force majeure, hardship, frustration of contract are also analyzed in the scope of the paper’s central hypothesis, namely: blockchain solutions.

About the Author

Yu. V. Brisov
Founder of ‘Legal and Financial Creative Solutions’ Law Firm
Russian Federation
Cand. Sci. (Cultural Studies), LL.M, Master of Civil Law, member of the Legal Committee for the Digital Economy, Russian Lawyers’ Association, Moscow Division (RLA MD)


1. Yeremin AA. Franchaizing i dogovor kommercheskoi kontsessii: teoriia i praktika primeneniia: monografiia [Franchise and commercial concession agreement: the theory and practice of application. Monograph]. (Moscow 2017). (In Russ.).

2. Vashkevich AM. Smart-kontrakty: chto, zachem i kak [Smart contracts: what, why, and how] (Moscow: Simplawyer 2018). (In Russ.)

3. Black DB. Who Needs Cryptocurrency FedCoin When We Already Have A National Digital Currency? URL: (last visited Jun. 03, 2020).

4. Kelly D., Hammer R. & Hendy J. Business Law. 3rd Edition (London: Routledge, 2017).

5. Kaufman DJ. An Introduction to Franchising and Franchise Law, 603 Business and Legal Issues, Commercial Law and Practice (1992).

6. Dozhdev DV. Printsip dobrosovestnosti v grazhdanskom prave [The principle of good faith in civil law], in MA Balayev, et al, Printsip formalnogo ravenstva i vzaimnoe priznanie prava [The principle of formal equality and mutual recognition of rights] 149, 147–161 (2016). (In Russ.).

7. Ehrsam F. How to Raise Money on a Blockchain with a Token, URL: (last visited Jun. 26, 2020).

8. Nemchenko I. & Petukhova L. Yuzhnaya Koreya zapretila ICO vsled za Kitaem [South Korea banned ICO in the footsteps of China]. URL: (last visited Jun. 26, 2020). (In Russ.).

9. Plessis J. du, Großfeld B., Lutterman C. German Corporate Governance in International and European Context (Springer, 2017).

10. Adams KA. Understanding “Best Efforts” and its Variants, 50 The Practical Lawyer 12–11 (2004).

11. Osipenko KO. Dogovor ob osushchestvlenii prav uchastnikov khozyaystvennykh obshchestv v rossiyskom i angliyskom prave [An Agreement on exercising company members’ rights in Russian and English Law] (Moscow: InfotropicMedia 2016). (In Russ.).

12. Santori M. Appcoin Law: ICOs the Right Way. URL: (last visited Jun. 26, 2020).

13. Mariya N. Titova, O meste franchaizinga v sisteme pravovogo regulirovaniia investitsionnoi deiatelnosti [The place of franchising in the system of legal regulation of investment activity], 9 Pravo i Ekonomica [Law and Economics] 28–21 (2014). (In Russ.).

14. Titova MN. Pravovoy status subektov franchayzinga biznes-formata [Legal Status of Business Format Franchise], 3 Predprinimatelskoe pravo [Entrepreneurial Law] 57–61 (2014). (In Russ.).

15. Adler MD. & Sanchirico CW. Inequality and Uncertainty: Theory and Legal Applications, 155 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 281 (2006).

16. Chumak N. & Rybyno M. Vvedenie v angliyskoe pravo [Introduction to English Law], 1 Peterburgskiy yurist [Saint Petersburg Lawyer] 41 (2014). (In Russ.).

17. Vigna P., Casey MJ. The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and The Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order 240– 241 (2016).

18. Rizzo P. SAFT Arrives: ‘Simple’ Investor Agreement Aims to Remove ICO Complexities. URL: (last visited Jul. 2, 2020).

19. Valkenburgh PV. Framework for Securities Regulation of Cryptocurrencies. Version 2, CoinCenterReport. 41 (2018).

20. Stepanov SA., ed., Grazhdanskoe pravo. T. 1. 2-e izdanie. Uchebnik [Civil Law. Volume 1, 2nd edition. Textbook] (Moscow: Prospect, 2019) (In Russ.).

21. Khabarov SA. Printsip legaliteta i voprosy kvalifikatsii tsennykh bumag [The Principle of Legality and Issues of Qualification of Securities], 4 Zhurnal predprinimatelskogo i korporativnogo prava [The Journal of Entrepreunership and Corporate Law] 46 (2016). (In Russ.).

22. Bazarov S. Kriptovalyuty: terminy i sokrashcheniya [Cryptocurrency: terms and abbreviations]. URL:криптовалюты-термины-и-сокращения-27293b8413cc (last visited Jun. 25, 2020). (In Russ.).

23. Vinokurov SN. Sovremennaya kontseptsiya dobrosovestnosti v obyazatelstvennom prave Frantsii, Germanii, SShA i Anglii [Modern concept of good faith in the law of obligations of France, Germany, the USA and England], 8 Pravo i politika [Law and Politics] 1–12 (2018). URL: (last visited: 02.03.2020). (In Russ.).

24. Tian Chuan & O’Leary R.-R. China Outlaws ICOs: Financial Regulators Order Halt on Token Trading. URL: (last visited Jul. 2, 2020).

25. Petrishchev VS. Sushchestvennoe izmenenie obstoyatelstv: pravoprimenenie st. 451 GK RF i opyt stran obshchego i kontinentalnogo prava: preprint wp10/2007/06 V. S. [Material change in circumstances: the enforcement of Article 451 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and the and the experience of common and continental law countries] Preprint WP10/2007/06. M. GU VSHE 31 (2007). (In Russ.).

26. Brisov YuV. Fors-mazhor v resheniyakh angliyskikh i amerikanskikh sudov [Force Majeure in the Decisions of the UK and US courts]. URL: (last visited Jun. 03, 2020). (In Russ.).

27. Brisov YuV. ICO na poroge pervogo klassovogo iska [ICO on the Verge of the First Class Action]. URL: (last visited Jun. 26, 2020). (In Russ.).

28. Brisov YuV. ICO vs IPO (Blockchain tokens. Smart Contracts. Cryptocurrency). URL: (last visited: 16.01.2019). (In Russ.).

29. Brisov YuV. Otchet Komissii po provovomu obespecheniyu tsifrovoy ekonomiki pri Mosckovskom otdelenii Assotsiatsii yuristov Rossii [Interpretive Note of the Commission on Legal Support of Digital Economy, Moscow Branch of the Association of Lawyers of Russia]. URL: (last visited Jun. 03, 2020). (In Russ.).


For citations:

Brisov Yu.V. The Development of Contract Law in the Field of Blockchain Technologies. Kutafin Law Review. 2020;7(2):147-182.

Views: 1192

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2713-0525 (Print)
ISSN 2713-0533 (Online)