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EU Finalizes European Data Act: The Controversial Smart Contract Kill Switch Rule

The European Data Act, encompassing the contentious smart contract kill switch rules, gets the green light from EU lawmakers. The crypto community voices concern over potential innovation limits.

EU Finalizes European Data Act

In a move that's sent ripples through the cryptocurrency world, European Union (EU) lawmakers have given the green light to the divisive European Data Act. This groundbreaking act, first proposed early in 2022 and passed by the European Parliament on March 14, has been at the center of a hotbed of debate within the crypto community. EU’s Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton, confirmed the deal in a tweet, celebrating it as a "milestone in reshaping the digital space."

Aiming to ensure fair use of industrial data and remove hurdles to equitable data sharing across a spectrum of data-centric services such as the Internet of Things, the Data Act has been touted as a key tool in fostering a more data-inclusive environment. The European Parliament posited that this Act would stimulate broader utilization of data resources to enhance algorithms, leading to reduced service costs.

Despite these aims, the Act faced stern resistance from the crypto community, due to its vague approach and specific proposals regarding smart contracts. Of particular concern were the Act's provisions for imposing altering requirements on smart contracts, including kill switches that allow for safe termination.

Such provisions have led many crypto enthusiasts to voice concerns that this new EU legislation would force smart contract developers to incorporate reset functionalities, potentially hindering innovation and complicating compliance for smart contracts within the crypto sphere.

Martin Hiesboeck, Uphold's head of research, had previously commented that this move brought smart contracts one step closer to falling under EU-wide regulation within a broader strategy on data markets. Attempts to reach Breton for comments about the controversy surrounding smart contracts have, so far, proved fruitless.