It may seem a rash comparison but the book, Empire of Cotton,  by Sven Beckert, springs to mind. It is a seductive and disarming narrative about the global world from Marco Polo to Walmart. By following the imaginary thread of cotton production through time and examining the economic motives connected with it, it unravels the social political and economic history of the world. It includes vast developments, geographical transformations, economic upsets, the politics of colonial interest, the slave trade, and wars. By following the thread of the new digitalization, we can see that the precursors are in place for a revolution as transformative as that created by cotton. It is possible to glimpse a future where this new technology will be the base for mankind’s freedom from institutions, or at least, the passage from dependence on these institutions, bureaucratically slow and always present, to a binary system of automation.
The accent, however, remains the same: can the blockchain be private or must it be public, centralized, decentralized or distributed? And then if it is self-regulated and the software becomes intelligent, who is the user and who is the regulator in charge? And thus, we return to the question posed in the introduction, quis custodiet ipsos custodies?
There is a remarkable and influential current of thought which retains that the monopoly of the blockchain structure must remain public and that only in this way will it express its characteristics in the best way. Siddahart Kalla CTO of
Acupay finds convincing arguments to sustain that ‘Innovative technologies are often constructed out of open protocols’ and not only warns of a partial failure of the banks, but also of those organizations that gathered around blockchain and have sought to make it an exclusive private technology. 
The possible attempts to regulate the uses of the decentralised ledger technology can only compromise potential results because they will not be suited to the ever-evolving technology itself. The alternative regulatory methods proposed, instead, are designed only to protect consumers from the shortcomings. They thus focus only on the payment applications of blockchain technology, such as Bitcoin. However, this work seeks to go beyond that and analyse in a more holistic way what the problem of limiting at the outset the effects and the results of the technology might be.
Therefore, ‘What regulatory approach to the decentralised ledger technology itself can keep pace with innovation while still addressing common market and governance failures?’ 
Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, a platform which strives to go beyond Bitcoin and create a flexible blockchain for the market, has a differing view. He retains that privately managed technology could be faster, less costly and better designed so that it would allow faster interventions in the case of needed repairs. It must be added, however, that he agrees that such a centralized management of the technology would restrict the freedom of access. 
Aaron Wright and Primavera De Filippi believe that ‘The rise of Lex Cryptographia presents a world where ideals of individual freedom and emancipation might come true. The blockchain could offer people access to alternative currencies, global markets, automated and trustless transactions systems, self-enforcing smart contracts, smart property and cryptographically activated assets, and innovative models of governance based on transparency and corruption-free voting. Combined, these elements could be used to promote individual freedoms and user autonomy.’ 
But the world is built on compromise and pure black and white don’t exist. It would be opportune to start a debate about how to begin a legislative process which follows the themes that this technological innovation implies for the
present and the future.
It is already late but it is imperative that states and judicial authorities understand the effects of this new digital revolution on our society and, in the name of human ethics, juridically forestall, wherever possible, the eventual crises of democracy and ethical freedom which will accompany progress toward a better world.
Therefore, if we really want to fight for the principles contained in the constitutions of our states, we have to face this revolution with open minds. Distributed ledger technology is the prime ingredient in harnessing the power of technology and the power of emerging independent systems in such a way as to promote economic growth, protect democratic institutions and ensure individual freedoms.
To conclude, it seems fundamental that an endogenous approach to regulation be followed. This will only have a clear and definite result if all the relevant stakeholders actively participate in the debate. As suggested by Reyes in her article,  ‘Such endogenous regulation offers unique compliance incentives and stakeholder buy-in that should enable more efficient ex ante regulation while simultaneously reducing the need for expensive coercive enforcement action.’
Thus, a fundamental reform in the approach of every regulation, but especially a reform of financial regulation, seems necessary and only if it is a ‘technology-assisted regulation, or regulation-through-code, that bypasses the ex ante/ex post dichotomy and influences actions in real time.’  This is the only real way to catch and ride the wave of this revolution, or as Andreessen once stated, ‘Software is eating the world.’ 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I CHAPTER – BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY AND ITS APPLICATIONS
1.1. BLOCKCHAIN: A DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY
1.2. BLOCKCHAIN FROM 1.0 TO 3.0.
1.3. A GLANCE AT THE IMMEDIATE AND DISTANT FUTURE
II CHAPTER – THE OBJECTIVES OF REGULATION
2.1. UNDERSTANDING REGULATIONS
2.2. THE BIRTH OF NEW REGULATIONS
2.3. THE PURPOSE OF REGULATIONS
III CHAPTER – CURRENT SITUATION
3.1. EARLY REGULATIONS AND ACTIONS BY STATES
3.2. CASES AND EARLY FRAMEWORKS
3.3. SHOULD THE TECHNOLOGY ITSELF BE REGULATED AS DISTINCT FROM THE APPLICATIONS?
IV CHAPTER – ANALYSIS
4.1. WHAT: IS IT THE DLT TECHNOLOGY OR THE APPLICATION WHICH MUST BE REGULATED? AND WHEN: BEFORE OR AFTER CREATION?
4.2. WHO AND HOW: DO WE NEED A SPECIFIC NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION OR WHO SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO DO SO?
159 Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton (Random House 2014).
160 Siddharth Kalla, ‘The Case for Banks to Use Open Public Blockchains’ (American Banker, 9 March 2016) www.americanbanker.com/opinion/the-case-for-banks-to-use-open-public-blockchains accessed 5 August 2017.
161 Reyes (n 129).
162 Joseph Young, ‘Interview: Vitalik Buterin on Scaling Ethereum, Its Popularity in Asia and ICOs’ (Bitcoin Magazine, 8 June 2017) bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/interview-vitalik-buterin-ethereum-scaling-issues-popularity-asia-and-icos accessed 2 August 2017.
163 Wright (n 9).
164 Reyes (n 129)
166 Marc Andreessen, ‘Why Software is Eating the World’ Wall Street Journal (New York, 20 August 2011) https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460.