It’s been just a few weeks since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect — and speed bumps remain. As noted this past week, research from the EU Institute shows that some of the larger tech firms, international in scope, have yet to comply with that law’s mandates, which stipulates how individuals’ data can be shared. The data shows that of 14 firms that utilize AI when it comes to data privacy, a third of those firms showed that there were potential problems with policies already in place, with some of the language lacking clarity.
Thailand And The Digital Token Debate
On a country-specific basis, Thailand last week said it debuted regulations on digital tokens, slated to take effect a week from now on July 16. As noted in this space earlier this month, financial regulators in that country stated that “issuers of digital tokens must be a company registered under Thai law and will be able to offer such assets of an unlimited amount to institutional investors, ultra-high net-worth investors, venture capital and private equity firms.”
As reported in March, a withholding tax of about 15 percent would apply to gains stemming from sales of digital tokens and cryptocurrencies.
In the United Kingdom, at least one member of Parliament has put forth a proposal that the U.K. should have a “public-facing chief blockchain officer.” As posed by Eddie Hughes, the member of parliament, the institution would have a hand in shaping public services, with an eye on reducing total government spending by more than 1 percent. The idea comes as roughly 40 percent of the more than two dozen startups in the country are tied to blockchain.
In other news, might open banking be heading to the Great White North? PSD2 has a bit more time in the rearview mirror than GDPR and markets have been adopting open banking, providing a template of sorts for countries including Canada — which has yet to bring on such widespread data sharing, but seems ready to embrace it.
With a nod to the February federal budget that was released this year by the government, “just the fact that [open banking] was mentioned in the federal budget earlier this year is an example of where the federal regulations are going in terms of open banking,” said Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, CEO of Canada-based Flinks.
For company-specific regulatory news, cryptocurrency startup Ripple, the firm that is synonymous with and creates XRP tokens, has been served a third lawsuit alleging securities fraud. As reported last week, a private investor in XRP alleged that Ripple and its CEO Bradley Garlinghouse have “conflated” the token with its proprietary Ripple technology.
Along the way, the firm has illegally profited from price increases tied to XRP, alleged the suit. In terms of mechanics, the suit claims that the firm created billions of tokens and sold them through what has been likened to a “never-ending” coin offering that has brought the firm as much as $100 million in cryptocurrency sales. Still outstanding, of course, is the issue of whether the tokens should be regarded as a security.