Members of the European Parliament voted Thursday to approve a Data Act containing a controversial clause that could make most smart contracts unlawful.
The act, which establishes rules on the sharing of data, received 481 votes in favor and 31 votes against, according to a press release. The legislation now needs formal approval from the European Council, a body comprising the 27 member nations' heads of state.
The final version of the bill, reviewed by CoinDesk in July, contained a provision requiring automated data-sharing agreements to be capable of being safely terminated. The July 7 text referred broadly to “smart contracts” rather than to privately owned and permissioned data records. Smart contracts are tools that automatically execute transactions when certain conditions are met. Organizations linked to blockchains like Stellar, Polygon, NEAR and Cardano expressed their concerns in an open letter at the time.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.