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Can the blockchain coexist with GDPR? It's complicated

Our blockchain and cryptocurrency event, Hard Fork Decentralized, is a couple of weeks from here. We will discuss some of the industry's biggest challenges, including how blockchain can stay compliant with GDPR.

Earlier this month at the annual Ethereum conference, Devcon, Vitalik Buterin spoke to Quartz about how he thinks IBM's commercial blockchain offers are "absolutely not the point …" Blockchain should be open, transparent and of people.

As soon as the technology is put in camera, is it really a blockchain? Like Buterin, some will complain that private blockchains are not really blockchains, but does it also matter? In a world of data security and GDPR, perhaps the authorized blockchains are the only way to comply?

Of course, there is something inherently wrong with the blockchains controlled by a centralized entity. For decentralization purists, much more than just decentralized technology is needed to take full advantage of the system's benefits. Putting a blockchain inside the metaphorical walls of a corporation seems counterintuitive.

That said, private blockchains could be useful. In some cases, public blockchains could be ruined if they reveal information that has made them contrary to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Of course, it would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to sanction a blockchain that contravenes these regulations. How can a government finite a decentralized entity without an owner or firm known to deal with the bill?

The EU recently said that the authorized private blockchains would be the only way decentralized technology can safely remain compliant with the GDPR. Authorized blockchains could be the only options for companies that want to get into technology. But even then, it's not as simple as making a blockchain blocked, there are many obstacles to overcome if companies want to ensure compliance with the law.

At Hard Fork Decentralized we will see how companies that implement blockchain technologies can stay compliant with GDPR while maximizing the benefits.

If you are not so interested in blockchain or private regulations, our event will feature a lot of other speeches, sessions and workshops! Check out our full list of events, hosted by industry leaders, to subscribe to your favorite discussions. See you in London between 12 and 12 December?

Published November 29, 2018 at 14:52 UTC

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