miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2018

EU & Blockchain: The beginning of a beautiful friendship

Blockchain, or more generally speaking, Distributed Ledger Technologies is seen as one of the key enabler technologies for digital transformation of economy and the society. Beyond its usage in criptocurrencies and other financial services, applications are emerged in other areas of the data economy. As a consequence, the European Council pointed in October 2017 this technology as one of the emergent trends that need to be address by the European Union.

After the political support, the European Commission took the usual steps in order to work on exploring the applications of any technology. On one hand, the EC set up an initiative to collaborate with the the private sector called the EU Blockchain Observatory, that aims to identify regulatory challenges related with DLTs and explore their different use cases. On the other, hand, the EC established a group for collaboration with the Member States, called the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), mainly focused in discovery the application of DLTs in cross-border public services and the specification and implementation of a trusted, secure and resilient European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) to support these services. 

The European Parliament has not been idle while the EC and the Member States were working in the EBPS and the EU Blockchain Observatory. After many working sessions, the Parliament has published in October 2018 a resolution called "Distributed ledger technologies and blockchains: building trust with disintermediation".  The resolution identifies many sectorial applications (energy, transport, healthcare, education, supply chains, creative industry, finances), describes the main elements of the DLT ecosystem (identity & trust, smart contracts, interoperability & standards, security), pushes for DLT public infrastructure, highlights its importance for SMEs (both as a tool for develop business opportunities and a financial mechanism) and concludes with listing policy actions to build up a blockchain-friendly Europe (strengthening skills, case-by-case regulation,  support R&D in the area and best practices exchange). 

So all the pieces are on the table for the next EU legislative period regarding blockchain. It´s time to take advantage of the Digital Single Market to develop an EU DLT policy approach and reap its benefits in the different economic sectors.

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