Disruptive Technologies Climate Change and Shipping

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UNCITRAL model law on electronic transferable records: The missing link towards e-shipping?

UNCITRAL model law on electronic transferable records: The missing link towards e-shipping?

Olivier Cachard

4.1 Introduction

From the discovery of movable type printing with Gutenberg, each generation has been claiming responsibility for discovering disruptive technologies. It is not only a matter of pride and self-achievement, but also a way to raise hard cash from investors, by creating enthusiasm for new markets. Obviously, the public blockchain promoters follow the path of their predecessors, even though blockchain is in reality a combination of techniques developed more than thirty years ago in connection with so-called public-key encryption systems. The disruption, if any, comes from the conjunction of an unprecedented calculation power with the input of a large amount of data. In an interesting parallel with the transhumanism movement, this has led to the creation of a new religious movement named “dataism”, the “data religion2 that has gained many adepts. The promoters of “dataism” are now trying to spread it in a number of sectors. They have met considerable enthusiasm in the shipping community, which indeed has been considering the perspective of electronic bills of lading for more than thirty years.3

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