On Feb. 1, The European Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum with the support of the European Parliament with the representation of MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker of Germany.
Official embrace of Blockchain at regional level
The new EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum will support and promote key developments with Blockchain technology. Furthermore, it will promote European actors and agencies and outside stakeholders working with Blockchain-based projects.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said:
"Technologies like Blockchain can help reduce costs while increasing trust, traceability and security. They have huge potential for making social and economic transactions more secure online by guarding against an attack and removing the need for any middleman. We want to build on Europe's substantial talent base and excellent startups to become a leading world region that will develop and invest in the rollout of Blockchain."
With this announcement, it is clear that the EU and its member states fully back and are willing to adopt Blockchain technology into their respective governments and countries. This announcement would make the EU the largest region of the world to embrace Blockchain technology and all the benefits it has to offer governments, businesses, people and society as a whole.
Game changer for Digital Single Market of Europe
Supporting that adoptive stance is the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel:
“I see Blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development. We need to establish the right enabling environment- a Digital Single Market for Blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction.”
The European Commission is serious about supporting the development of Blockchain projects and initiatives also by providing its financial support. The EU research programs FP7 and Horizon 2020 will continue the monetary support of Blockchain through 2020 to the tune of up to 340 mln euro.
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum will assume a dynamic part in helping Europe to seize new possibilities offered by Blockchain, build up skills and demonstrate leadership on a global level.
The Observatory will compile data, analyze trends, tackle problems and investigate Blockchains' financial potential.
It will promote intra and international collaboration by uniting Europe's best authorities and advancing an open dialogue on Blockchain technologists, citizens, related topics, industry partners, regulators, controllers and directors, to examine and grow new ideas, while maintaining the end goal to learn, connect with and contribute openly.
FinTech Action Plan
The Commission is currently working on a FinTech Action Plan, which will be announced in the spring this year.
With this launch, Europe is taking a big step on adopting new technologies, which will make it more competitive in business, finance and enhancing life for its citizens.
On a contrary side note, the EU is still playing a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies. As of December 2017, anonymous wallets and transactions were officially banned.