Since the launch of «Social Machine» project I’ve been observing the proceedings of Blockchain and DLT Working Group, organized and coordinated by Polish Ministry of Digitalization. The summer slowdown is a good opportunity to take a brief look at the work of the Group so far.
Łukasz Jonak, Analityk DELab UW
The Working Group is a forum for various stakeholders of the introduction of blockchain technology to Polish economic and social ecosystem to discuss their view points and produce recommendations about how to manage blockchains and DLTs at the level of the state. The actual work of the Group takes place in a number of subcommittees – from financial (actually there are two of those) to scientific and educational. The members of the group come from various backgrounds, the most important of which seem to be:
Representatives of public administration, especially the regulatory bodies (such as Polish Financial Supervision Authority – KNF); ultimately, the policy makers when it comes to blockchains
Companies building solutions and services based on blockchain technologies – the custodians of technical knowledge about the features and opportunities of DLTs
Major potential institutional users of blockchain services, both related to the state (eg. Warsaw Stock Exchange) and private (eg. The Polish Bank Association, major insurance companies)
Various other interest and occupation groups: real estate lawyers and experts, doctors and health service managers, scientists and educators
Most controversies have been identified by the committees related to the financial application of blockchain technologies and dealing with the management of identities and securing user’s privacy. In case of financial applications the main points discussed were:
The status of tokens in the context of existing law. Can they be securities (or can securities be tokenized)? An if so, would resulting regulatory pressure obliterate their potential for building innovative business models and financial services?
How to responsibly experiment with new financial models afforded by blockchain technologies. Various ideas and projects are being proposed, such as regulatory sandbox, or potential tokenization of assets at the new private market being created at Warsaw Stock Exchange.
The committee discussing privacy, identity, AML and KYC issues faces the urgent need of interpreting EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its Polish implementation. Specifically:
Who is to be considered data administrator in case of distributed public blockchains. Is it legally possible to state that there are no such entities?
How to enforce the „right to be forgotten” on blockchains, given that immutability is one of their constitutive features?
The incompatibility of major legislation acts with the reality of blockchain technologies seems to be obvious when observing the proceedings of the Group. One of the main tasks of the members in the weeks to come seems to be therefore to propose ways to interpret existing regulations so that they actually allow the application of blockchain technologies to the greatest possible extent and to suggest new legislation ideas more aligned with blockchain technologies.
Autor projektu: Łukasz Jonak
Projekt finansowane ze środków programu „Dialog” MNiSW