Electronic ledgers and, more specifically, distributed ledgers such as blockchains, are one of the most disruptive technologies ever seen, with the ability to destroy traditional intermediaries such as financial institutions, but ledgers are created with the intervention of new actors (called miners or validators, depending on the consensus mechanism used by the DLT network), and they are rewarded by their activity. The may not be intermediaries from the perspective of the transaction which the ledger incorporates, but the trustworthiness of the ledger depends on their intervention. And it is not always clear what are the legal or contractual rules they should comply with, and in many cases it is impossible to determine whether they will be liable for damages caused because of their errors and omissions, or in case of fraud.
To ensure an appropriate level of trustworthiness, the proposed Regulation considers that qualified electronic ledgers must be created by one or more qualified trust service providers or providers, by implementing technologies that ensure the requirements set forth in the Regulation. One can think of miners or validators as these trust service providers. They’ll need to select and apply proper cryptographic algorithms, consensus protocols and security measures, amongst others.