Blockchain technology has created so much excitement since its debut, unlike anything else in recent memory. A fact that has been widely accepted lately – not only by technology enthusiasts but also by important institutions – is that the field of application of the blockchain goes far beyond cryptocurrencies and payments. Recent initiatives show that the blockchain has undoubtedly captured the attention of the European Union.
As a distributed ledger that records information that anyone in the world can view at any time, blockchain promotes a secure exchange of value without the need for a central authority such as a bank, a government or a financial institution. It is essential to build trust online and should serve as a stable basis for a fair, secure and inclusive digital economy.
For these reasons, the blockchain has captured the attention of Europe. Governments, businesses, academic institutions and the growing blockchain community are discussing what this thriving technology can offer to European society. Today, Europe has also taken active measures to support the innovation of platforms and applications. Several initiatives have been created, including the Observatory and the Blockchain forum of the European Union.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society of the European Commission, launched the Observatory and the EU Blockchain Forum on February 1st. It has the task of mapping existing initiatives in Europe. It also aims to monitor emerging trends and issues so that it can be a hub for blockchain technology.
Gabriel sees the blockchain as a turning point. He hopes that Europe can be "at the forefront of its development". For this to become a reality, the EU must create a favorable environment in which all citizens can benefit from the blockchain industry in its entirety and not just a patchwork of initiatives. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum embodies this purpose. While seeking to accelerate blockchain innovation within the EU, it also aims to cement the role of Europe as a global leader in processing technology.
Under the Blockchain Observatory and the Forum, there are two groups in charge of researching and identifying blockchain initiatives around the world:
Working group on the policy and the framework conditions of the Blockchain: Focuses on inter-industrial and inter-technological problems that can help define the legal conditions necessary to support regulatory predictability for the widespread dissemination of blockchain technology applications.
Working group Use Cases and Transition Scenarios: Focuses on the most promising blockchain use cases, particularly those involving the public sector – health care, energy and government services, to name a few. The work groups each have 30 members, all selected from an open call. The groups are composed of leaders of elites from different sectors.