Thibault Schrepel on EU Article 30
“The immutability of smart contracts is key to their survival (i.e., immutability is their main differentiating feature),” Thibault Schrepel, an Associate Professor at VU Amsterdam University, tweeted ahead of the vote. “Article 30, as currently drafted, goes a step too far in addressing the issues raised by immutability. Instead of enacting “practical immutability” (where immutability remains the principle and alterability the exception), it makes alterability the principle. In doing so, it endangers smart contracts to an extent that no one can predict.”
According to Schrepel, who is a specialist in blockchain legal issues, the legal text is unclear as to who would be responsible for triggering the kill switch on a smart contract, which interferes with the fundamental principle that the automated programs can’t be altered by anyone.
“As currently drafted, Article 30 does not provide clarity as to who should be able to ‘terminate the continued execution of transactions,’” Schrepel wrote. “Is it the creator of the smart contract? Public authorities? Courts? If the EP wishes to proceed with Article 30, future versions should at least make it clear that only the creator of a smart contract can terminate it.”