PICOPS, a service created and hosted by Parity Technologies that allows individuals to associate a single Ethereum address to their unique identity, is the newest casualty of the increasingly drastic EU regulations.
Sad news for the Ethereum ICO market
The company announced on May 18 that they are discontinuing the Parity ICO Passport Service due to specific interpretations of personal data laws in the European Union’s new GDPR framework:
“We are looking at ways of resolving the uncertainty and making PICOPS compliant with GDPR while keeping it useful. However, as things stand, the solutions we have identified restrict the service to a very limited set of features. Because of this, the significant resources required to make PICOPS GDPR-compliant, and the fact that PICOPS is not part of our core technology stack, we have decided to discontinue the service despite overwhelming market needs and demand.”
PICOPS was a useful platform for many Ethereum-based ICOs since it allowed easy KYC and AML compliance. The news didn’t go unnoticed, as Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin commented via Twitter, calling this whole situation a sad development:
“This is very sad. A potentially very useful service in the ethereum ecosystem discontinued due to GDPR issues.”
Taking a stand for preventing future GDPR casualties
The news also triggered a series of comments from Parity’s CEO, Jutta Steiner, who stated: “From a practitioner’s perspective, it sounds to me that it was drafted by trying to implement a certain perspective of how the world should be without taking into account how technology actually works.
The way [decentralized public network] architecture works, means there is no such thing as the deletion of personal data. The issue with information is: once it’s out, it’s out.
Given the stage where the technology is at, I think there’s time to hopefully adjust certain things in the GDPR. I can’t see the regulators being so stubborn as to not adjust the regulation. They’ll just see the other countries will use the technology and Europe is at a disadvantage.”
The company is currently taking an active interest in present blockchain regulations and it’s more than committed to working with regulators in order to ensure that these regulations don’t repress the future growth of the crypto industry even more.
Unfortunately, the Parity-based service is not the only one affected by these regulations. Previously, LocalBitcoins had disabled multiple accounts due to the similar complications from the GDPR.