22 European countries plot mega blockchain crew
The European Commission (EC) has revealed that 22 member states have signed a declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership.
The partnership will be a vehicle for cooperation; exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields; and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the “Digital Single Market”.
Mariya Gabriel, EC commissioner for digital economy and society, says blockchain is a “great opportunity for Europe and member states to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies”.
The EC makes a big deal about user trust, saying it makes it possible to share on-line information, agree on and record transactions in a verifiable, secure and permanent way.
It adds that the technology is already being tested, “mostly in financial services”, and will become “more operational and integrated into increasing number of digital services, such as regulatory reporting, energy and logistics in the coming years”.
The EC also launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February and has invested more than €80 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain in technical and societal areas. Around €300 million more is to be allocated to blockchain by 2020.
The list of countries that signed the declaration are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK.
Like any good host of a party, the EC welcomes other countries, i.e. members of the EU and of the European Economic Area, to join the European Blockchain Partnership.
Last month, the EC unveiled an action plan on how to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services.