TILTing 2019 – exploring the journey of crypto-assets across the EU financial legal framework

At TILTing 2019 the Lab presented a study on the legal instruments that are, as of today, applicable to blockchain-based digital assets under European law, and the relative enforcement challenges. The broader question to be tackled is whether and how regulators deal with such challenges, and what are the interests at stake. http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2019/05/tilting-perspectives-2019-report-2.html

Courts and Internet Governance – events – Maastricht University

Catalina Goanta of Maastricht University organized an excellent workshop on Courts and Internet Governance, focusing on the intersection of court system and decentralized technologies.

Balazs presented his chapter co-authored with Alexandra on the logics of decentralization.

This conference builds on an initial exploration of the topic of decentralization held at the Faculty of Law at Oxford University in March 2019. The event takes the overarching theme of Internet governance, as the vast majority of the data-related issues as illustrated above has been shaped by the increased interconnectivity, use and architecture behind the Internet. The first panel tackle Internet governance from the perspective of the legal certainty necessary for stable markets and societies. The second and third panel zoom into court activity with respect to issues related big data collected, stored or linked online, as well as the circumstances underlying the lack of more litigation relating to blockchain-related wrongs.

Source: Courts and Internet Governance – events – Maastricht University

The Lab in the Dutch parliament

The dutch parliament organized a workshop on blockchain tech. Merloes Pop, a member of our Advisory Board represented the Lab.

Marloes Pomp, the Lab …

The debate quickly focused on the issue of legal and institutional conditions of blockchain adoption. Sadly, it was not clear for many, what kind of changes are desirable, or necessary for the desired change.

… fake marble, true scientists and politicians …

We, luckily have some ideas. Blockcain infrastructure, if we stop looking at it as a decentralized source of ultimate disruption may actually be a pretty good vehicle to export European jurisdiction and power to the developing world. This is not the libertarian dream, but rather a distopian one, unless you believe that using digital technologies to project power may actually be beneficial. Keep tuned.

and fancy chandeliers.

The Lab at Tilting 2019!

Join us Friday afternoon at our “To Decentralize Everything, Hash Here: Blockchains and Information Law” panel at Tilting Perspectives 2019 conference

Blockchain is the latest technological hype to promise disruptive decentralization, especially as it relates to information goods and services. While one of the goals of decentralized technologies is to operate without the need to adhere to existing legal systems, blockchains face challenges of compatibility with these systems so as to facilitate wider adoption. This panel examines these challenges from the perspective of information law, focusing on their treatment under the legal regimes of copyright, data protection and competition. Panelsts will be Balazs Bodo, Alexandra Giannopoulou, Valeria Ferrari, Daniel Gervais and Jurgen Goossens

Source: Program for Friday, May 17th

The Lab has been profiled by the EU Research & Innovation magazine of the European Commission

Blockchain solutions have been proposed to restrict the power of these big middlemen. But Dr Bodo warns that these could struggle to translate the complexity of the old system into the inflexible logic of computer programming, without introducing new power injustices.‘The question is not blockchain per se – blockchain is a wonderful technology,’ he continued. But, he says, there is an open question about what happens when blockchain challenges the power of the law and the power of existing institutions.

Source: Blockchain could democratise banking, music – but at what cost? | Horizon: the EU Research & Innovation magazine | European Commission

CPDP 2019: Blockchain technology and the GDPR: The beginning of a beautiful privacy whac-a-mole?

The video of our CPDP panel is now up!

Watch video
Close

Organised by Blockchain and Society Policy Research Lab, Institute for Information Law, UvA

Chair Balazs Bodo, Blockchain and Society Policy Research Lab, Institute for Information Law, UvA (NL)

Moderator: Mireille Hildebrandt, VUB-LSTS (BE)

Speakers: Michèle Finck, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (DE); David Ci- liberti, DG JUST (EU); Alexandra Giannopoulou, Blockchain and Society Policy Research Lab, Institute for Information Law, UvA (NL); George Danezis, UCL (UK); Konstantinos Stylianou, University of Leeds (UK)

Individual user control of data has become a central issue in the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), creating a more demanding data protection framework for involved actors, all while coming in conflict with fundamental characteristics of blockchains. Thus, the difficulty lies in designing a system without compromising core values of both privacy regulation on the one hand and blockchain technology on the other. Given the right incentives there is no doubt GDPR compliant distributed ledgers can, and will be designed. The real question is what happens if there is persistent market/social/political interest in those blockchain implementations which do not care for, or are unable to achieve GDPR compliance.

Considering the interdisciplinary nature of the main question, the proposed panel consists of invited experts selected to cover various privacy-related fields including law and computer science.

• What are the main points of friction between blockchains and the GDPR?

• What are the technological privacy enhancing mechanisms that could apply?

• What are the appropriate and necessary conciliations for the creation of privacy-preserving blockchains in accordance with data protection regulation?

• Is there a market for non-compliance that blockchain technologies are best suited to serve?

Validation rules for blockchain research – the third report in our Blockchain&Society Research Nodes series is out!

In December 2018, we organised a two-day workshop dedicated to blockchain scholarly research. The workshop brought together teams from four different projects: the Blockchain&Society Policy Research Lab from Amsterdam, P2P Models from Madrid, MoneyLab from Amsterdam, and Weizenbaum Institute’s Trust in Distributed Environments research group from Berlin. The workshop’s overall goal was to incite interactions between the projects, to explore common research possibilities intersecting between distinct projects, and to provide a breeding ground for discussions on each project’s research focus. These are the highlights:

  • (Dis)trust in institutions and the abolishment of intermediaries present issues of particular legal, governance and technological interest; knowledge transfer for interdisciplinary scholarly research in these topics is necessary.
  • Decentralized technological infrastructure and cryptocurrencies could be used in the context of commons-based communities. The preconditions, effects, and implications of this model require further attention and empirical research.
  • Translating legal norms into code and creating autonomous governance systems on-chain is a particular research challenge; it is related not solely to smart contract regulation but also to decentralized platforms with potential to create enforceable agreements.

Read the full report here.

Blockchain technology and the GDPR: the beginning of a beautiful privacy whac-a-mole?

On the first day of the CPDP2019 at 10:30 we’ll have a fantastic panel on blockchain technology and GDPR.

https://www.cpdpconferences.org/cpdp-panels/blockchain-technology-and-the-gdpr-the-beginning-of-a-beautiful-privacy-whac-a-mole

• What are the main points of friction between blockchains and the GDPR?
• What are the technological privacy enhancing mechanisms that could apply?
• What are the appropriate and necessary conciliations for the creation of privacy-preserving blockchains in accordance with data protection regulation?
• Is there a market for non-compliance that blockchain technologies are best suited to serve?

The speakers include: Michèle Finck, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (DE); David Ciliberti, DG JUST (EU); Alexandra Giannopoulou, Blockchain and Society Policy Research Lab, Institute for Information Law, UvA (NL); George Danezis, UCL (UK); and Konstantinos Stylianou,
University of Leeds (UK). The panel will be moderated by Mireille Hildebrandt, VUB-LSTS (BE), and chaired by Balazs Bodo.

ABSTRACT: Individual user control of data has become a central issue in the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), creating a more demanding data protection framework for involved actors, all while coming in conflict with fundamental characteristics of blockchains. Thus, the difficulty lies in designing a system without compromising core values of both privacy regulation on the one hand and blockchain technology on the other. Given the right incentives there is no doubt GDPR compliant distributed ledgers can, and will be designed. The real question is what happens if there is persistent market/social/political interest in those blockchain implementations which do not care for, or are unable to achieve GDPR compliance. Considering the interdisciplinary nature of the main question, the proposed panel consists of invited experts selected to cover various privacy-related fields including law and computer science.

• What are the main points of friction between blockchains and the GDPR?
• What are the technological privacy enhancing mechanisms that could apply?
• What are the appropriate and necessary conciliations for the creation of privacy-preserving blockchains in accordance with data protection regulation?
• Is there a market for non-compliance that blockchain technologies are best suited to serve?