What’s Going On?
The European Union and the blockchain industry are on a data-privacy collision course.
Why Does It Matter?
With just weeks before Europe’s new GDRP data security policy comes into force, blockchain companies say the
distributed nature of technology might be a problem.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) means operations working with personal data in Europe must be
ready to delete an individual’s details if they ask for it to be wiped from a company’s records. But modifying data on a blockchain is very hard, Oxford Law lecturer Michèle Finck told The Verge.
In the US, Washington-based cryptocurrency research and advocacy group Coin Center said European regulators
may need to accept the new law is incompatible with the reality of open blockchain networks.
So Blockchain is Finished in Europe?
Far from it. While the industry as a whole faces a significant compliance challenge, it sees nothing but
opportunities in the medium-to- longer term. “We’re optimistic that our European friends will come to see that
their legitimate privacy concerns are best addressed not through law, but through decentralising technology
itself,” said Coin Center’s executive director Jerry Brito. “Open blockchain networks, cryptocurrency, and general encryption are the backbone of a new more secure and private Internet on which individual have more control over their data.”