Primavera De Filippi

Faculty Associate, Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
Permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in France

An authority on blockchain technology and the opportunities of emerging digital technologies

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Primavera De Filippi is an internationally recognized authority on blockchain technology and the opportunities of emerging digital technologies. These include decentralized architectures, such as, peer-to-peer networks, mesh networking technologies, and the various blockchain-based applications, like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

She specializes in:

  • the legal frameworks in which blockchain and other decentralized peer-to-peer networks operate
  • how blockchain technologies can influence the future of work, by facilitating large-scale decentralized collaboration and participatory decision-making
  • how laws and code can regulate autonomous systems and machines powered by blockchain technology and artificial intelligence
  • how commons-based peer-production communities rely on emerging technology in order to create and redistribute value more equally

Blockchains Technologies. Blockchains technologies enabled the emergence of new organizational structures that significantly differ from those that we know today. Just as Bitcoin eliminated the need for banks and other financial intermediaries, blockchain technology can eliminate intermediaries in many other sectors of activity, using code to coordinate a wide range of interactions between humans and machines. Primavera De Filippi is a genius on explaining this important and exciting new technology, along with the implications it may have on the current regulatory framework, on the way people work and organize themselves, and on society as a whole.

“Backfeed” — trust layer on top of a trustless technology. In addition to her academic career, Primavera is committed to create distributed governance systems that can be deployed as a “trust layer” on top of existing blockchain-based infrastructure, in order to improve the governance of these trustless networks. She calls the system Backfeed.

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. In the future, we might witness the emergence of autonomous blockchain-based organizations that operate in an autonomous and self-sufficient manner, independently of their creators. In order to illustrate this point, Primavera has created the first blockchain-based lifeform — the Plantoid, which is to a plant what an android is to a human. It’s reproductive process is an astounding new business model that enables the Plantoid to reproduce itself, by hiring humans in order to help them in the reproduction process. As an artistic experiment, the Plantoid illustrates the mostly unexplored business potential of blockchain technologies.


  • Permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris
  • Faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School,- where she studies the legal aspects of these technologies
  • Member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technology at the World Economic Forum
  • Co-founder and coordinator of the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technology an the Internet Governance Forum
  • Researcher on commons-based peer-production for the European Commission (
  • Legal expert for the Creative Commons France affiliate group
  • Associate Editor of the Digital Finance Journal, Springer; and Member of the Editorial Board of Ledger, the Journal of Cryptocurrency Research

She is fluent in Italian, French and English.


Blockchain and the Law

Primavera De Filippi

After over twenty years of scientific research, there have been dramatic advances in the fields of cryptography and decentralized organizations. The result is a profound new technology — known as the blockchain — that has the potential to fundamentally shift the way in which the world operates. Many compare the emergence of the blockchain to another revolutionary technology, the Internet, and anticipate a corresponding shift in communications, business, and individual freedoms. Blockchain and the Law examines the legal challenges faced, and raised by decentralized blockchain-based applications, along with the emergence of a new form of regulation, refered to as Lex Cryptographia or Cryptolaw — a set of self-enforced rules based on cryptographic algorithms and decentralized network architectures.

Harvard University Press (2017)

Copyright Law in the Digital Environment

Private Ordering and the regulation of digital works

Primavera De Filippi

The book begins with an analysis of copyright law as it applies to the physical and digital world. The challenges that the law has to face in the digital environment are specifically addressed by illustrating how the self-regulating features of the copyright regime have been jeopardized with the advent of Internet and digital technologies. The book subsequently analyses the role of private ordering in the regulation of information and presents the various mechanisms of self-help that have been developed so far to address the challenges of the digital world. The use of end-user licensing agreements and technological measures of protection (DRM) designed to restrict the consumption of digital works beyond the scope of the copyright regime is contrasted against the use of Open Content licenses (e.g. Creative Commons) intended to support a greater dissemination and broader availability of works, amidst other goals. The book finally investigates the corresponding advantages and drawbacks of these two divergent approaches and concludes by addressing the justifications for governmental intervention in regulating or limiting the operations of private ordering.

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing (March 14, 2012)


Primavera tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Blockchain Technologies

Digital Innovation

Sharing Economy

Future of Work


From Competition to Cooperation | TEDxCambridge

Planetoid: the Advent of Self-Souvereign Lifeforms

Blockchain Technology and the Future of Work | Lift Conference

Decentralized blockchain technologies | OuiShare Fest 2015

Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet? | The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society