On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union entered into force, accompanied by some uncertainties regarding its application. For example, some legal commentators believe there are “irreconcilable” differences between blockchain technologies and some of GDPR’s core principles, raising doubts as to whether the technology can achieve widespread adoption under the new data protection regime.  Continue Reading GDPR Implications for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

In April 2018, Amazon Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon, was granted a patent relating to a “technology for a streaming data marketplace” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The technology underlying the patent is described as gathering (online) data streams from various sources and enhancing those streams “by correlating the raw data with additional data.” The patent description lists a number of potential use cases for the streaming data feeds that participants in the market place are offering subscriptions to. One notable use case relates to “bitcoin transactions,” with the ultimate goal of identifying users of the virtual currency by their Bitcoin addresses. Continue Reading The Bitcoin Implications of Amazon’s New Streaming Data Patent

An increasing number of financial institutions and fintech companies are coming together to create consortia or shared utility service providers that will identify, design, build and provide emerging technologies like blockchain and the possibility of using decentralized, distributed ledger technology that can be accessed and used by market participants to record information. Continue Reading Challenges with the Evolution of Blockchain

Generally speaking, a Blockchain is a peer-to-peer operated distributed digital ledger that records all transactions executed for a particular asset. The ledger is “distributed” because each user of the network has its own copy of the blockchain, and each user’s copy is updated with new information simultaneously. The greatest benefit of distributed ledger applications, in comparison to conventional financial networks, is that exchanges of a particular asset can be verified, monitored and enforced without the presence of a trusted third party or a central institution. Continue Reading Blockchain-Based Applications – Evolving Legal Issues

Any digital record of bank deposits opens up the possibility that its underlying set of data may be copied and that the nominal amount deposited may be spent more than once. With conventional bank deposits, banks monitor the digital records and are trusted to ensure their validity. With so-called “digital currencies” like Bitcoin, by contrast, the ledger containing the record of all transactions by all users is available to the public. Rather than requiring users to have trust in a central third party, reliance is placed upon the network and the algorithmic rules established to reliably change the ledger. The authentication technologies underpinning Bitcoin – known as distributed ledger or Blockchain-technologies – enable multiple instances of data to be synchronized and updated. Continue Reading Blockchain Technologies Move further into the Mainstream