Bringing the AGM to the 21st Century: Blockchain and Smart Contracting Tech for Shareholder Involvement

Bringing the AGM to the 21st Century: Blockchain and Smart Contracting Tech for Shareholder Involvement

Christoph Van Der Elst, Anne Lafarre

Series number :

Serial Number: 
358/2017

Date posted :

June 28 2017

Last revised :

June 28 2017
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Keywords

  • Annual general meeting • 
  • corporate voting • 
  • blockchain • 
  • smart contracts • 
  • Corporate governance • 
  • innovation

The AGM is often considered to play an important role in direct shareholder monitoring of directors and corporate blockholders. However, its practical functioning suffers from large obstacles.

In this research we outline the AGM’s flaws and argue that blockchain technology can bring this yearly classical gathering to the 21st century. Using a blockchain that records shareholder voting on a private ledger, shareholder decision-making can be faster and cheaper. Once a voting item is placed in the blockchain, shareholders are notified and can exercise their tokenized voting rights. When a majority is reached, the voting outcome becomes immutable and verifiable.

This state-of-the-art decentralized form of ‘meetings of and with shareholders’ offers large advantages: faster decision-making in a decentral environment and substantially reduced voting and meeting organizing costs, which can enhance shareholders’ willingness to participate.

Authors

Real name:
Anne Lafarre