On May 22, 2020, the World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council released the Presidio Principles.  The WEF makes clear that the principles are intended to serve as a steering document for the community; they are not legally binding and are intended to be aspirational. The document calls on “all actors, including developers, governments, executives, international organisations, corporate boards, and others, to uphold these tenets as they build blockchain applications – and to self-direct their ecosystems in using these principles as a foundational vision for how users can and should be protected.”

The Presidio Principles are grouped into four broad pillars:

  1. Transparency & Accessibility – The right to information about the system
  2. Agency & Interoperability – The right for individuals to own and manage their data
  3. Privacy & Security – The right to data protection
  4. Accountability & Governance – The right for participants to understand available recourse

The suggestion is that applications built on top of blockchain-based systems should preserve the 16 rights identified under these four pillars.


David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. He is currently the Chairman of the Litigation Department of the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. Since 2008, David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration.