Introduction to Blockchain for Data Protection Professionals

The past few years has seen an explosion of interest in blockchain technologies globally and here in Ireland. In celebration of Blockchain week 2019, this event aims to give data protection professionals a comprehensive introduction to blockchain technologies with an emphasis on the data protection issues arising.

About this event

Hugh McCarthy will speak about Blockchain technology, which presents a range of opportunities to provide solutions to problems across many sectors, including finance, supply-chain/ logistics, healthcare and the not-for-profit / charity sector.

One of the common misconceptions is that blockchain is considered to be fundamentally “incompatible” with the EU’s principal data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation.

In this seminar, Hugh McCarthy will examine blockchain in light of GDPR obligations and explain how blockchain can be implemented not only in a GDPR-compliant manner but in a way that facilitates GDPR compliance. This seminar will addresses the key issues at the intersection of blockchain and data protection law, including the scope of the term “personal data” in a blockchain context and the EU’s right to be forgotten.

Pearse Ryan will consider the various other legal considerations that arise in blockchain context, including but not limited to the NIS Directive and how certain criminal law provisions might also impact on blockchain solutions. 

About the speakers:

Pearse Ryan

Pearse is a consultant at Arthur Cox and specialises in the areas of FinTech (including smart legal contract advisory), cyber-security (including corporate risk advisory, cyber incident handling and cyber insurance advisory) and IT (including sourcing, digital transformation projects and dispute resolution). Pearse’s experience spans public and private companies and public sector bodies.

In the FinTech area, Pearse advises a range of clients on technology and business based innovation and disruption, including on issues associated with implementing blockchain based projects, cryptocurrency advisory and token issues.

Hugh McCarthy

Hugh is an associate in the Technology & Innovation practice group at Arthur Cox. Hugh’s practice focuses on privacy and data protection matters working for both international technology companies and domestic businesses.

Hugh also advises on a range of other technology-related areas including commercial contracts, e-commerce, intellectual property and betting and gaming regulation.

Hugh works closely with the firm’s corporate M&A, finance, capital markets and funds practice groups and has a breadth of experience in advising on data protection structures and compliance matters in those fields.

Hugh is widely published on data protection, privacy and technology matters in Irish and international practice-orientated journals and regularly attends and presents at conferences in Ireland, Europe and the US.


7.30am – Registration & refreshments

8.00am – Jim Gregg, ICS

8.20am – Hugh McCarthy, Arthur Cox      

To discuss data protection, where the audience should be aware of the GDPR requirements, but not their application to blockchain.

9.00am – Pearse Ryan, Arthur Cox

To discuss other legislative requirements (e.g. NIS Directive/criminal law).

9.40am - 10.00am Q&A

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CPD Points:



30th May (Thu)


Begins at 07:30 and ends at 10:00


  • (non-members)


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