The EU Commission continues to show its support and investment in new technologies in the digital economy. On February 1, 2018, the Commission and the European Parliament launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, and earlier this month, the Commission also unveiled its FinTech Action Plan.
The Blockchain Observatory
The observatory is designed to be a comprehensive repository of blockchain expertise and a source of innovation and development. It brings together policymakers, technology experts, regulators, businesses and users with the goal of building on new opportunities offered by the blockchain technology. The initiative forms part of the drive towards the digital single market, a Commission strategy to boost e-commerce, modernize regulations and promote the digital economy. The observatory also aims to support the interoperability of blockchain, which is the ability of computer systems and software to exchange and utilize information without restrictions. It also seeks to address the varied challenges in the blockchain ecosystem – such as trust, compliance, security, traceability by design, among other issues.
The EU Commission has also called for a feasibility study on the opportunity of an EU blockchain infrastructure, with tenders closed in January. The study will research the opportunity, benefits and challenges of an enabling framework supporting blockchain-based services, and whether EU services could run on such an infrastructure.