While the immutability of blockchains is often presented as a net benefit for freedom of expression, it’s said that there are instances where it may be necessary to limit free expression where the purposes are legitimate under international law and respecting the rule of law, i.e. where platforms are used for the storage or dissemination of content that can be legitimately restricted under international law. In this respect, blockchain technology may pose challenges for the ability of states to exercise their international legal obligations.
Blockchains impose a shifting of trust to technology and private actors who design, implement, mediate, and govern that technology. The promise of distributed’ and ‘decentralised’ systems is not entirely true in practice.
Usage of these technologies is not necessarily trustless but involves placing significant trust in software, those vetting the software, the tools
used in accessing that technology, and key players implementing and operating elements of decentralised networks.
Blockchain technology may introduce security risks. While promoted as ‘secure,’ most users - unless they possess considerable technological
sophistication - are likely to use some intermediary in order to access the technologies, whether mobile applications, browser extensions, or third party actors. These points of access introduce vulnerabilities: phones and computers can be hacked or stolen, and third parties can be compromised.