The Netherlands Develops National Blockchain Research Agenda

News | May 11, 2018 By:

The Netherlands has announced its first research agenda on blockchain, which will cover relevant areas including technology, legal issues, economic impact and ethics.

The national blockchain research agenda was created with the assistance of a broad group of representatives from the government, business and knowledge institutions, chaired by University of Twente professor J.C. van de Pol. The goal of the agenda is to steer the development of blockchain technology toward maximizing its potential for societal good, and to the exclusion or remediation of undesirable developments.

The agenda identified some distinguishing blockchain characteristics that all require a better understanding. These include decentralization for a distributed ledger, automation and standardization of transactions, digital scarcity, and disintermediation.

The agenda also outlines the three key areas that it aims to address, including trustworthiness, sustainability, and governance. According to the agenda, these concerns need to be addressed in order to align analytic and design challenges for creating and adopting blockchain technology that realizes a positive societal potential.

Relevant parties in the Netherlands, including applied science colleges, universities, and other research institutions, can further schedule their research activities regarding blockchain issues.

“This research agenda for blockchain is unique in taking its starting point in responsible science and aims at designing a technology for society, based on shared public values,” said van de Pol. “The overarching concerns – trust, sustainability, governance – lead to a wide variety of research questions, which are now put on the agenda in a single coherent vision.”

The first client for the research agenda is the TopTeam ICT of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, which is in charge of several national innovation programs, such as the KIA ICT, Commit2Data and the Dutch Blockchain Coalition.