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区块链国际资讯监管与政策

监管不确定性成英国区块链公司最关心的问题之一

根据数字创新机构Digital Catapult的研究,英国74%的区块链公司表示,监管问题是他们最关心的问题之一,超过了获取技术、商业或法律专业知识等其他问题。

这些监管挑战包括欧盟实施的《一般数据保护条例》(后文简称GDPR)。由于GDPR结合了欧洲在个人数据使用和存储方面的监管环境,对于使用无需许可区块链技术的公司来说,GDPR已经成为这些公司面临的问题的症结所在,因为区块链数据存储并不局限于任何一个特定地理位置。

Digital Catapult在这份标题为《行动中的区块链:英国市场现状》的报告中表示:

“这项立法引发了使用无需许可公有区块链技术的公司的担忧,这些区块链对所有人开放,无论其地理位置如何,而且参与网络的所有节点都能复制区块链的完整副本,这使得不可能有选择地限制数据流向。”

数据清除权

此外,GDPR授权公民在任何时候都有权删除他们的个人数据,这与无需许可的公有区块链的性质相冲突,在这种区块链中,数据一旦被记录下来就变得不可更改。

围绕通过ICO的监管不确定性也是另一个令人担忧的问题。这份报告指出,英国金融市场行为监管局(后文简称FCA)今年4月曾表示,将对ICO进行监管,但截至这项调查发表之日,FCA尚未发布正式指导方针。根据接受调查的公司的说法,FCA延迟发布指导意见进一步增加了行业不确定性,从而妨碍了一些项目的ICO计划的进行:

“接受咨询的公司多次提到了这种不确定性,因为考虑到当前的监管环境,它们不 确定是否应该在英国实施ICO,或者是否应该允许英国公民参与。”

监管的不确定性也影响了区块链公司与传统金融机构之间的关系。在对264家区块链公司进行的调查中,54%的区块链公司表示,他们与一些公司打交道时面临银行开户难题,特别是那些因为从事加密货币活动而遭受银行沉重打击的公司。

区块链保持发展态势

此外,调查显示,那些通过加密资产筹集资金的公司发现,尽管他们执行了必要的反洗钱措施(AML)和知道你的客户(KYC)检查,但要获得一个传统的银行账户仍然特别困难。

尽管存在监管方面的挑战,但报告指出,英国的DLT行业正处于增长轨道上,该行业获得的投资仍在继续扩大:

“……英国区块链行业获得的投资从2016年第三季度的略高于5000万美元,上升到2018年第二季度的1.5亿美元(与ICO相关的投资在2017年第四季度突破1亿美元,法定货币投资在2018年第二季度攀升至逾1亿美元)。”

Regulatory uncertainty in Britain’s blockchain sector has emerged as one of the biggest concerns for distributed ledger technology firms in the country.

According to research conducted by digital innovation agency Digital Catapult, 74% of blockchain firms in the United Kingdom cited regulatory issues as being one of their key concerns, surpassing other issues such as access to technical, business or legal expertise.

These regulatory challenges include the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As the GDPR unifies Europe’s regulatory landscape regarding the use and storage of personal data, the legislation has become a sticking point for firms which use permissionless blockchains since the storage of data is not limited to any one particular geographical location.

“This legislation raised concerns for companies using permissionless, public blockchains, which are open to anyone regardless of location, and where full copies of the database are replicated across all of the nodes participating in the network, making it impossible to selectively limit where the data goes,” Digital Catapult wrote in the report titled ‘Blockchain in Action: State of the UK Market’.

Right to Erasure

Additionally, the GDPR empowers citizens to delete their personal data at any point and this is in conflict with the nature of permissionless public blockchains where data becomes immutable once recorded.

The regulatory uncertainty surrounding the raising of funds via Initial Coin Offerings was also another cause of concern. The report noted that the UK Financial Conduct Authority had indicated in April this year that it would regulate ICOs but has yet to issue formal guidance as at the publication date of the survey. Per the firms that were surveyed, the delay in issuing guidance has further heightened the uncertainty and consequently hampering the ICO plans some projects may have had:

“This uncertainty was raised many times by the companies consulted, as they were unsure whether they should conduct an ICO in the UK or allow UK citizens to participate given the current regulatory landscape.”

The regulatory uncertainty has also affected relationships between blockchain firms and traditional financial institutions. In the survey which polled 264 DLT firms, 54% of the blockchain companies indicated that they faced difficulties opening a bank account with the firms which were particularly hard hit being those dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Still Growing

Additionally, the survey found that firms which had raised funds in crypto-assets found it particularly hard to obtain a traditional bank account despite the necessary Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer checks being undertaken on investors.

Despite the regulatory challenges, the report noted that the DLT sector in the UK is on a growth path with investments in the sector continuing to balloon:

“…investments rose from just over US$50m in Q3 of 2016, to US$150m by Q2 of 2018 (with ICO-related investments topping US$100m in Q4 of 2017 and fiat investments climbing to over US$100m in Q2 of 2018).”

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