The EU Council supported the idea of shutting down and suspending smart contracts

The EU Council supported the idea of shutting down and suspending smart contracts

Author: Robert Strickland (crypto expert)

The EU Council supported the idea of shutting down and suspending smart contracts

EU Council backs the idea of adding a shutdown feature to smart contracts

Industry players fear new legal rules may not be feasible for most smart contracts


The Council of the European Union backed the idea of disabling and suspending smart contracts - they will have to contain a "switch" under the revised European Union Data Act, CoinDesk reports.


Earlier, the proposal for a "smart switch" was made by the European Parliament. The final version of the law must now be negotiated between these two bodies through the mediation of the European Commission, the highest executive body of the European Union responsible for drafting laws and implementing decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.


The proposed rules require that smart contracts can be interrupted or terminated altogether. This has raised concerns in the blockchain community since one of the fundamental principles of smart contracts is that they must be automatic and immutable, the publication notes.


These rules should theoretically only apply to smart contracts used by "smart" appliances, such as cars and refrigerators.


At the same time, community members point out that developers may have difficulty complying with these regulations. According to Marina Markezic, founder of the lobbying group European Crypto Initiative, most smart contracts will be difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the rules as drafted by Parliament.


EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton also made it clear that he does not support the legislators' version, saying it impedes the ability to set standards for smart contracts.


According to Thibault Schrepel, a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the current version of the rules goes too far in the matter of the "changeability" of what should by definition be immutable. 


Blockchain legal expert Shrepel also pointed out that it's not clear from the text of the bill who should "turn off" smart contracts - the developers, the authorities, the courts, or others.


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