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Professor Kianieff to spend Sabbatical at University of Michigan Law School as Grotius Research Scholar

Professor Muharem Kianieff

Windsor Law professor, Muharem Kianieff, will explore the depths of blockchain technology as a visiting scholar under the Grotius Research Scholar Program at the University of Michigan Law School.

The Grotius Research Scholars Program welcomes scholars from around the world to conduct intellectual research and explore areas of law of interest to Michigan Law faculty. From December 2017 – June 2018, Kianieff will be conducting cutting-edge research for a new monograph (from Routledge) on the legal implications of blockchain technology, a technology originally devised to support the digital currency of Bitcoin. While at Michigan Law, he will be hosted by Professor John Pottow.

Blockchain innovation has made major strides in the development of global financial technology and has changed the way we process transactions by using high-level cryptography though a network of sophisticated computers to distribute a ledger along a public network. An ingenious invention that allows digital information to be distributed without being copied and creates a permanent, incorruptible digital record of the transaction. While current efforts at developing blockchain extend to financial products, the technology can be adapted to serve any type of record keeping function that relies on information that is verifiable and instantly auditable.

“This field is one that transcends international borders and is a subject that is of interest not only to me as a legal scholar, but other economic, technological and public policy researchers,” said Kianieff. “I am very proud that they have taken an interest in some of the research that we are doing here at Windsor Law and look forward to working with Professor Pottow and interacting with many of the other faculty members there.” 

Kianieff’s previous research centered on discussions surrounding electronic money, the history of private banknotes in Canada, debit and credit card regulation and the law of privacy regulation in the private law context. He is now focusing his attention on examining the emergence of blockchain technology to study what impact it will have on established consumer protection doctrines in commercial law.

“This is a wonderful recognition of his expertise in the emerging area of blockchain and a testament to his scholarship at the intersection of banking law, technology and consumer protection,” said Myra Tawfik, Acting Dean of Windsor Law.  “We congratulate Professor Kianieff on his appointment as Grotius Research Scholar at the University of Michigan and the exceptional opportunity it provides for him to engage with scholars at Michigan Law School.”