After assisting many ICOs and token sales last year, we are sad to announce that Parity ICO Passport Service (PICOPS) will no longer be operational as of May 24th, 2018. PICOPS is a service which enables individuals to associate a single Ethereum address with their unique identity. More precisely, the service offers an open means to validate that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has passed an ID background check stating that they are not part of a restricted set of users (e.g. citizen of a specific country or individual on a official watchlists).
Many ICOs used PICOPS in order to comply with their jurisdiction's Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money-Laundering (KYC/AML) regulations. However, due to its interpretation of personal data and the rules on how to handle the latter, the EU's General Data Protection Framework (GDPR) creates new and untested challenges when storing personal information on the blockchain.
PICOPS and GDPR
These challenges make running a service like PICOPS more difficult. We are looking at ways of resolving the uncertainty and making PICOPS compliant with GDPR while keeping it useful. However, as things stand the solutions we have identified restrict the service to a very limited set of features. Because of this, the significant resources required to make PICOPS GDPR-compliant, and the fact that PICOPS is not part of our core technology stack, we have decided to discontinue the service despite overwhelming market needs and demand.
PICOPS's deprecation does not mean that we are going to wait and see what happens to blockchains under regulation. For example, last month, our CEO Jutta Steiner was a panelist at a blockchain workshop at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
In our hope to find a solution in the interest of our users and to ensure future regulation will enable useful innovation, we will continue to work with regulators to ensure they are aware of the effects this framework may have on technologies that will improve the rights individuals have over their data.