What’s Going On?
The EU put Brexit and other divisive issues aside on Digital Day this week. 22 EU nations signed a declaration to back blockchain for business.
Why Does It Matter?
Entrepreneurs, companies, nations and now international political unions are chasing emerging blockchain opportunities and the billions in investment these opportunities attract.
Established economies do not want to lose business to countries and governments perceived to be more open to blockchain technologies. The new European Blockchain Partnership will help member states exchange experience and expertise and prepare for the launch of international blockchain applications, said EU officials. “This should ensure that Europe continues to play a leading role in the development and roll-out of blockchain technologies.”
Is This Enough To Keep Europe in the Blockchain Business?
It’s a significant step in an ongoing strategy, although actual investment figures are still relatively modest, given the combined financial might of the countries involved. The European Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February this year and has invested more than €80 million in blockchain projects. Around €300 million more is to be allocated to blockchain by 2020.
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “Digitalization is transforming our society and we can reap its full benefits only through close and fruitful cooperation. Coordinated EU-level commitment and investments are much needed to tackle the challenges ahead… I encourage all EU Member States and stakeholders to contribute to our efforts to keep Europe a global player in the digital age.”