MANHATTAN, NY — A newly implemented law concerning data protection and privacy could lead to some troubling and unwanted news for blockchain businesses.
Blockchain, the proponent responsible for Ether and Bitcoin, prides itself in being able to safely record online transactions while maintaining transparency with the public. Blockchain provides anyone with the information necessary to make transactions a breeze while maintaining total user privacy.
The European Union has put in motion the General Data Protection Regulation, which gives their citizens the power to request for their personal data to be removed from public databases. Any readily available information that could be used to trace back to the individual would fall under this regulation, thus, this poses a concern for Blockchain businesses.
The GDPR will prove to be a problem for Blockchain Businesses because the regulation paints the term “personal data” with such a broad stroke. Until this issue is molded to be a bit smoother, said businesses will remain on the fence.
According to Michele Finck, a University of Oxford professor, the GDPR will not be able to smoothly coincide with how Blockchain works. This is because Blockchain was built to have information readily available to the public and trails from digital currencies could fall under the personal information umbrella.
This conundrum will have to be resolved by the European regulators by either banning Blockchain from Europe or modifying the GDPR enough for the two to work together.
Whatever the case may be, this will undoubtedly shake the Blockchain landscape, especially with potentially thousands of applications having Blockchain technology as their foundation. This will halt hundreds of developments and even more will have to be modified or built from the ground up to comply with the law.
While the definition of “personal data” remains wrinkled under the GDPR, business owners will have to stay in check. Buying private databases will prove costly, especially for start-up businesses and doing so will definitely scrap one of the Blockchain businesses top selling points which is public-ready data.
If the more ambiguous information, such as one’s Bitcoin address for example, falls under the GDPR’s definition, then blockchain companies will have to adapt to a more privatized database.