The European Union (EU) seems keen on not missing out on the blockchain party.
European Commission (EC), the politically independent executive unit of EU, has launched a new body called the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (BOF) to consolidate and build on promising blockchain initiatives within EU member states.
BOF is essentially a pilot project backed by the European Parliament. It was proposed by Jakob von Weizsacker, the same Member of the European Parliament who drafted a recent, highly-cited report on cryptocurrencies.
Among other goals, the BOF is expected to assist the EC’s ongoing efforts with the cutting-edge financial technology. It’s optimized to underline the major developments in the realm of blockchain technology while encouraging European entities to accelerate the growth and adoption of blockchain in the region.
The highly optimistic note on which the EC has launched the new initiative can be gauged from the organization’s Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis’ recent statement on the BOF.
“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making.”- Valdis Dombrovskis
He currently oversees Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
A number of EU member states have already waved the green flag at various projects powered by or relevant to blockchain technology. The EC wants to make sure that all these projects are fine-tuned to be operational across borders with the home of consolidating expertise and addressing various challenges to issues such as trust, traceability, security, and disintermediation.
According to Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner of EU Digital, the soon-to-be 27-nation bloc didn’t have enough developers working on blockchain technology. However, the fact is that the European Central Bank itself is exploring new avenues to harness the evolving technology.
After evaluating several tenders last year, the EC decided to go with ConsenSys as the official partner that would help to spread the Observatory’s outreach throughout Europe.
“It is a mission of ConsenSys to enable open, transparent cooperation between citizens, institutions and governments”- Kim Timsit, ConsenSys France
He also adds that the launch of BOF makes perfect sense considering that one of EU’s primary agendas has always been to facilitate an ideal platform for cooperation between member states.
ConsenSys – a collective of entrepreneurs and technologists – has been tasked with managing the initiative alongside the Commission while assisting in the preparation of several forthcoming research projects.
Feature image by Josh Head