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How politicians should regulate the blockchain industry

by Joseph Mack

**Implementing Blockchain Technology in Companies and Industries**

***A Game of Regulatory Compliance***

When it comes to implementing blockchain into a company or industry, there is no doubt that it will require a lot of work. One expert, Mulligan, emphasizes that blockchain demands crossing corporate boundaries, and this creates a myriad of problems.

### The Regulatory Question

Mulligan has a standard operating procedure when companies or industry consortia seek her help in setting up their systems – she starts with a simple question: have you checked with your regulator? This is crucial because when it comes to implementing new technology such as blockchain, regulatory compliance is key.

### Private Blockchain vs. Shared Excel Spreadsheets

David Gerard, an author, believes that using blockchain internally in a company, also known as a private blockchain, is simply a new way of storing data. He points out that using blockchain is not fundamentally about the technology itself, but rather how it is used. Gerard emphasizes that the legislative changes proposed for blockchain are essentially misguided.

### Implications of Using Blockchain

Mulligan notes that more and more companies are considering blockchains as a means to organize their entire industry. She explains that this involves a number of competitors coming together to create a blockchain solution that allows for the exchange of data and sharing of transactions. But this collaboration among competitors raises concerns for competition regulators due to monopoly or oligopoly laws – antitrust.

### Involving Regulators Early

Mulligan suggests that it makes sense to involve industry regulators early in the process, not for approval of the technology, but to avoid accusations of collusion. She also states that it’s crucial for regulators and each industry to understand blockchain, and it does not necessarily require new regulations because antitrust laws already exist.

### Colliding with Data Privacy Laws

The implementation of blockchain also raises concerns regarding data privacy laws. GDPR, the EU data regulation that came into force in May, requires companies to have the ability to delete or update personal information. However, blockchain’s immutability presents a clash with this requirement.

### Limitation of Use Case

Ferdinando Ametrano from Milano-Bicocca University notes that private, permissioned blockchains, touted as the solution for data controls in companies, do not actually exist in production cases. He emphasizes that most examples of their use remain in the development phase, raising questions about what regulators should regulate if the technology is not yet in existence.

In conclusion, the implementation of blockchain technology in companies and industries not only involves technological intricacies but also raises significant legal and regulatory challenges that need to be addressed for its successful integration.

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