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Legislation and the Crypto markets continue to dominate the headlines of the Web3 world this week, here are your top stories for the third week of July. 

Final version of the new EU Data Act will contain a smart contract kill switch. 

The European Union’s newly proposed Data Act has sparked significant debate and controversy within the Web3 industry due to its requirement for all ‘smart contracts’ to include a kill switch capable of disabling them. This legislative move has raised concerns among prominent figures within the Web3 community, as it appears to contradict the fundamental principles of permissionless networks.

The Data Act, if approved and implemented, would enforce a blanket rule that smart contracts without a built-in kill switch are deemed illegal. This could have profound implications for the existing landscape of decentralised applications and blockchain-based systems that heavily rely on smart contracts for their operations.

One of the core tenets of Web3 technology and the decentralised movement is the idea of ‘permissionlessness’, which ensures that anyone can participate in the network without needing explicit approval or intermediaries. The introduction of a kill switch within smart contracts, while potentially having its own merits in certain contexts, is seen by critics as a direct violation of this principle. It could lead to centralization of power, as only select entities would possess the authority to activate or deactivate contracts, undermining the democratic and autonomous nature of decentralised systems.

The EU’s assurances that pre-existing smart contracts would not be retroactively considered illegal may provide some temporary relief, but it does not alleviate the concerns surrounding the future of permissionless networks. The prospect of new smart contracts being required to comply with this regulation creates uncertainty and raises questions about the long-term viability of the Web3 ecosystem in the EU.

As the Data Act undergoes the approval process by all EU member states, the exact timeline for its implementation remains uncertain. However, the possibility of it taking effect before the end of the year puts additional pressure on stakeholders within the Web3 industry to voice their concerns and engage in constructive dialogues with policymakers to influence the legislation.

Many advocates for Web3 and blockchain technologies are urging the EU to consider alternative approaches to regulating smart contracts that strike a balance between consumer protection and the preservation of decentralisation principles. Solutions like decentralised governance mechanisms, where communities collectively decide on contract behaviour, are being proposed as potential compromises.

New EU law states that phones must have replaceable batteries by 2027. 

Last June, the online world buzzed with discussions surrounding a proposed EU law aimed at addressing the growing issue of E-waste and supporting the right to repair. One of the significant provisions of this law was the requirement for all phones to have a replaceable battery by 2027. The European Union has been actively introducing a series of new legislations to combat the mounting problem of electronic waste and promote sustainable practices.

The right to repair movement has gained traction globally, advocating for consumers’ ability to repair their electronic devices easily and affordably. With smartphones being a major contributor to E-waste due to their short lifespans and limited repair options, the proposed law aims to extend the longevity of these devices and reduce environmental impact.

Prior to this, the EU had already taken a step towards standardisation and sustainability in the tech industry by making it mandatory for all new phones to feature a USB-C port by 2024. This move was intended to replace the myriad of proprietary charging cables with a universal and versatile option, reducing electronic waste and enhancing user convenience.

Among all tech companies, Apple stands out as one of the most affected by these new legislative changes. Apple has long utilised its proprietary lightning port charger, which has been a subject of criticism for limiting consumer choice and contributing to E-waste. Additionally, Apple’s practice of soldering batteries into their devices has made battery replacements difficult and expensive for consumers.

With the introduction of the new EU law, Apple will be compelled to abandon its proprietary lightning port and ensure that all future phone models have replaceable batteries, aligning with the broader environmental goals of the legislation. While this may pose challenges for Apple in the short term, the move towards standardised charging ports and replaceable batteries is generally well-received by the tech community and consumers alike.

The tech industry has been actively engaged in debates about sustainability and environmental responsibility. The new EU legislations have garnered positive feedback from both the tech sector and the emerging Web3 community, which is heavily focused on decentralised and sustainable technologies. These laws are seen as progressive steps in the right direction, encouraging innovation while promoting eco-friendly practices.

Furthermore, the shift towards standardised charging ports and replaceable batteries is expected to foster competition and allow smaller manufacturers to enter the market more easily. This, in turn, can lead to greater consumer choice, affordable repairs, and increased circularity in the lifecycle of electronic devices.

Google allows Web3 technology onto the Playstore.

Google’s recent announcement marks a significant shift in its approach towards Web3 technologies, as the tech giant seems to have reversed its stance on allowing Web3-based apps and services on its platform. In a major policy update, Google declared that customers and developers will now have the freedom to create, sell, and utilise in-game tokenized assets, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

The inclusion of blockchain-based elements in apps and games has become increasingly popular within the Web3 ecosystem, unlocking new possibilities for creators, gamers, and investors alike. By embracing NFTs and other tokenized assets, Google acknowledges the growing importance of decentralised technologies and the potential benefits they can bring to its vast user base.

For developers eager to incorporate blockchain elements, Google sets clear guidelines to ensure transparency and compliance with their rules. Specifically, developers are required to disclose the presence of blockchain features on their Play Store page, providing users with transparent information about the app’s functionality. This transparency is vital in helping users make informed decisions and understand the implications of using blockchain technology within the app.

Moreover, Google emphasises the importance of adhering to its existing policies related to gambling and contests. Developers must exercise caution and ensure that their apps do not violate these policies, which are in place to protect users and maintain a safe environment within the platform.

The decision to embrace Web3 technologies and NFTs signals Google’s recognition of the growing demand for decentralised applications and the potential they hold for the future of the digital landscape. NFTs, in particular, have gained widespread attention for their ability to represent unique digital assets, ranging from virtual real estate and collectibles to digital art and more. This move by Google opens up new avenues for creators and developers to explore innovative ways of engaging users and monetizing their content.

The positive reception of Google’s updated policy is evident in the tech community. Many within the Web3 industry and blockchain enthusiasts applaud this decision, viewing it as a significant step towards mainstream adoption of decentralised technologies. The move is seen as a validation of the potential of Web3, as it gains recognition and support from one of the world’s leading technology companies.