Major blockchain group says Europe should exempt Bitcoin from new data privacy rule

Since people can store personal data in blockchains, the technology could fall within the scope of the next European law of change to privacy. But blockchain technology may be fundamentally incompatible with the new privacy rules of Europe, Washington, DC think tank Coin Center said today in a new publication.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will enter into force on May 25 this year, more than two years after it was first signed into law. Under the new rule, if an EU citizen requests that their personal data be deleted from a company's records, the company will have to obey.

But with blockchain, a complete erasure of any stored personal information might not be possible, said experts The Verge . "Modifying data in a chain of blocks is very difficult," said Oxford law professor Michèle Finck The Verge "If you erase or modify data from the blockchain to comply with the amendment rights of the GDPR or the "right" to be forgotten, "not only would you change that information, but the hash of the block that contains the data and all the subsequent blocks."

Finck added: "I think it's safe Say that currently, most of the blockchains are incompatible with the GDPR, especially blockchains without permission. "She said that although many blockchain projects are thinking about how to design technology that complies with GDPR, the problem is that" there are so many points of tension … well beyond the right [for personal data] to be forgotten. "

By its very nature, transactions in a blockchain are not intended to be erased but to be permanently recorded, and it would be difficult to stop every place that transmits a Bitcoin transaction. "This is by design," said Andries Van Humbeeck, co-founder and advisor of Blockchain at, a Belgian company that offers training and advice related to blockchain, The Verge. "They are the basic concepts of blockchain technology. "

Van Humbeeck reiterated Finck's argument that modifying a block meant changing all subsequent blocks, adding that it could have terrible consequences:" If you purge a block of transactions, the veracity of all blocks of subsequent transactions become questionable. "The transaction log helps block chains track payments and a false transaction could have financial consequences for users." When it comes to the chain of blocks Bitcoin works with, "all Bitcoin transactions after that purged block they become unsustainable, which would undermine the entire system, "Van Humbeeck said.

Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center wrote in a publication today, regulators should note that the new law is" incompatible with the reality of open blockchain networks ", which are not governed by a single party but are decentralized.

Since blockchain and the GDPR do not currently work together, one of the two may have to change. They could use new technologies to anonymize personal data, which would keep the blockchains out of the reach of the GDPR. , European judges could decide that block chains do not have to erase any personal data, as advised by the Coin Center. If both blockchains and the GDPR do not change, Coin Center warns that the result could be a problem for blockchain developers in the EU: "The result of the law, then, may be that Europe is closing the future of Internet to the detriment "

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