Decentralized blockchain technology: towards a trusted and transparent beneficial ownership regime

Paul Michael Gilmour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter offers an insight into emerging blockchain technology and explores how it might support a trusted and transparent beneficial ownership regime. The international anti-money laundering community has advocated for central registers of beneficial owners as a measure to strengthen corporate transparency. A lack of corporate transparency is problematic because it helps to conceal illicit wealth by frustrating authorities’ efforts to identify the real beneficial owner behind corporate vehicles used to launder money and evade taxes. However, there are moral, legal, and practical challenges in implementing central registers of beneficial owners. The chapter considers the application of blockchain in decentralized and distributed digital ledger systems that are without a trusted third party. This chapter concludes with an examination of blockchain’s role in maintaining an accurate, verifiable, and transparent record of beneficial ownership information in support of global AML efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinancial Technology and the Law
Subtitle of host publicationCombating Financial Crime
EditorsDoron Goldbarsht, Louis de Koker
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030880361
ISBN (Print)9783030880354, 9783030880385
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameLaw, Governance and Technology Series
ISSN (Print)2352-1902
ISSN (Electronic)2352-1910


  • beneficial ownership
  • blockchain
  • offshore
  • tax haven
  • transparency


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