The Nature of Cryptocurrency: Lessons from Banco de Portugal v Waterlow & Sons Ltd

The Nature of Cryptocurrency: Lessons from Banco de Portugal v Waterlow & Sons Ltd

This is a past event

As one can verify through the growing number of “cryptoassets” described and created, and the wide offer of forgeries that we can find in different testimonies and numismatic collections around the orb, the power to create money is a rather tempting one. Considering these sources, this research will take as its starting point the experience found in Banco de Portugal v Waterlow & Sons Ltd to illustrate how the selection of infrastructural stakeholders is relevant for the development and evolution of the “cryptoassets” market. This fact will be highlighted particularly in the context of the potential development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the adoption/regulation of cryptographic “inside monies” commonly known as “stablecoins”. Through this selection of instruments, we are going to ask to ourselves two rather important questions: “who can create money?” and “how can it be created?” To answer these questions, this contribution will rely on the analysis of the sovereign exercise of the lex monetae, focusing our efforts not only on the simple creation of monetary assets, but also on the selection of the legal-technological infrastructures that support that act of creation. In the context of the global value chains that support the evolution of the “cryptoassets” market, we will warn that we have to be careful on the introduction of these technological infrastructures and the providers relating to them within our financial systems to avoid a problem similar to the one described in the Banco de Portugal case, which in digital environments could become operational and systemic. Based on this potential, the present contribution will offer to our readership a hypothetical interoperable system structured around two cores: one private (“stablecoins”) and one public (CBDC) to show how global value chains and Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) will give form to a new crypto lex monetae that will go beyond the decentralised and disintermediated models introduced by Bitcoin.

Israel is a Full-Time Lecturer/Researcher in Banking and IP/IT Law at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) (Mexico). He obtained his PhD in Law at the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Professionally, he has worked as Intellectual Property Advisor and Personal Data Protection for different institutions and editor on Intellectual Property for SCRIPTed ( His academic research is focused on intellectual property, artificial intelligence, financial innovation and the legal nature of money. He has obtained different national and international research prizes such as the First Prize of the Fifth Edition of the Competition of Legal Monographs for Lawyers under 35 years old in 2013, sponsored by the Latin American Banks Federation (FELABAN for its acronym in Spanish), and the Second Prize of the Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Prize 2015, sponsored by the Espinosa Yglesias Research Centre (CEEY for its acronym in Spanish).

Dr Israel Cedillo Lazcano
Hosted by
School of Law
Online Event

Seminar is Free to attend. Please contact Dr Qiang Cai for event link at