The term "blockchain" is on many people’s lips and for good reason; it is a potentially transformational technology that could have as much impact as the arrival of the Internet in the 1990s. The ability to create a transparent and immutable record of transactions between parties that may not fully trust one another has obvious application to finance and financial regulation. Add to that the ability to automate transactions themselves, through "smart contracts" and you have a recipe for slashing transactional costs and reducing the need for traditional intermediaries. But what about taxation? A lot of thinking on the application of blockchain to financial markets is already underway but tax risks falling behind.
To fill this gap the Global Tax Policy Centre at Vienna University of Economics and Business initiated in March a program of work to study the impact of blockchain on taxation with a ground breaking meeting of senior tax officials, legal experts, industry specialists, technologists and academics. These initial discussions