Category Archives: Blockchain Innovation in Europe

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Europe Cryptocurrency News Roundup 14-20 September 2018

Welcome to another weekly blockchain and cryptocurrency news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country. In this article, we cover Europe.

United Kingdom

Government raises concerns about protecting investors in the bear market: A parliamentarian questioned the government’s ability to help the country’s blockchain industry in the current and future bearish scenarios.

The question raised by Lord Taylor of Warwick received a response from Lord Bates, the Minister of International Development Department who stated that the government hasn’t made a formal assessment of the situation yet, and it continues to monitor the whole situation.

Treasury wants “Wild West” cryptocurrency market regulated: In a recent report by the United Kingdom Treasury Committee, the cryptocurrency market needs to be regulated which it referred to as the “Wild West”.

The committee is made up of MPs who oversee the branch and have begun to urge the lawmakers to address numerous risks outlined in their report. The government’s response is awaited.

France

Country to celebrate 10 years of Bitcoin with art exhibition: The French artists in celebration of the dawn of the new cryptocurrency age have come together to have a crypto-themed art exhibition in the country.

The focus of the exhibition will be on how Bitcoin is changing the relationship between the artist and the audience. All showcased pieces of art can be purchased through top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero.

European Union

Terrorism is funded by cash, not Bitcoin: EU Police: A detailed report by the Europol or the European Police has clarified that the primary source of funding for terrorist activities is conventional banking channels and cash, not cryptocurrencies.

The reason behind the use of cash was given that it is a tried and tested form of funding. Alternative currencies like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies log a lot of public transactions and are of little interest to terrorist cells operating in the country. Europol is based in Hague and supports the 28-nation coalition in its struggle against terrorism, cybercrime and other organized criminal activities.

Switzerland

Switzerland, Israel working on blockchain regulatory processes: The government of Israel and Switzerland are working to implement blockchain regulation in their countries in a deal that will open up the access of Swiss banks to Israel.

During a recent trip to Israel, Switzerland’s Minister of Finance Ueli Maurer met with the Israeli authorities and discussed terms for entering the Israeli market with high ranking officials. Switzerland’s quest for access to the Middle Eastern country’s markets will likely propel its blockchain industry further.

Ukraine

Government to introduce Crypto Tax Bill: The Ukrainian government is looking to pass a cryptocurrency regulation bill in the country that will tax both operations and assets in the country.

According to a draft law shared by the parliament channel, a 5% tax is being proposed on individuals and legal entities that are operating with cryptocurrencies and tokens. Businesses can face as much as 18% taxation as that is the standard rate in Eastern Europe.

Russia

Lobbyists push a new Crypto Regulation Bill: A lobby group in Russia is working to push an alternative cryptocurrency regulation bill in the country which will fight with the government’s own Digital Financial Bill for adoption by the parliament.

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) are trying to give a special status to cryptocurrencies and the regulation itself is being solely entrusted to the central bank. It is yet unclear whether any recommendations of this new bill will actually be adopted by the parliament.

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GDPR May Stifle Blockchain Innovation, Finds EU Report

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum has released a report warning that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws instated by the European Union (EU) earlier this year may prevent effective blockchain innovation taking place.

The Blockchain Innovation in Europe report cites a lack of clarity in the legal framework regarding personal data and blockchain technology as a major issue for entrepreneurs and developers working in the EU. The report states that it “can put a brake on innovation”.

Friction between GDPR and blockchain

One of the crucial issues discussed is the incompatibility with a decentralized blockchain network to erase person data, with GDPR giving citizens the right to have their information erased upon their request. To enforce these right, GDPR requires a central authority to be held accountable, something lacking in the structural nature of a decentralized blockchain network.

Permissionless blockchains can also not be guaranteed to comply with GDPR restrictions that require data to only be transferred to third parties outside of the EU who offer equal data protection regulations.

Thus, applications built on a blockchain are being threatened by unclear laws regulating them.

A need to update GDPR?

The report claims that these conflicts are not addressed because during the time GDPR policies were being constructed, blockchain was not as popular with developers, nor nearly as well known and utilized as it is now. This means that the laws were written with an implicit assumption any database would operate with a centralized authority for processing data.

However, the investigatory review does claim that blockchain could in the future evolve to become key in promoting data sovereignty and the further goals of GDPR. With more research and development, blockchain could theoretically have compliance supported in the code of platforms and applications.

For now though, with hope, the report will influence EU lawmakers to clarify what is required from blockchain developers to prevent the industry from moving out of the union.

 

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