Blockchain Now Moving Out Of The Lab And Going Mainstream – EU Official

Blockchain, News | April 11, 2018 By:

European Commission (EC) vice president Andrus Ansip said that blockchain technology is one of the areas where Europe is best positioned to play a leading role.

In a speech at EC’s Digital Day 2018 in Brussels Tuesday, Ansip asked EU countries to commit to Europe’s digital and data-based future – with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare, and blockchain technologies. He urged member states to support the European tech sector “both politically and financially.”

“I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream,” Ansip said. “As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.”

Ansip noted that the future-oriented areas he mentioned require significant funding if they are to make the most of them. Funding not only for today and tomorrow, but far into the next decade as well.

“For the Digital Single Market to work for people and business, to advance on our digital priorities, to make sure that Europe is a world digital leader: we need hard cash,” he said. “Blunt, perhaps. But there is no other way of putting it. For that, we need your support: to fund Europe’s digital future starting from 2021 in the next budget.”

During the event, 22 EU countries signed a declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership. Signatories include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.

European Blockchain Partnership will be a “vehicle for cooperation among member states to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said that in the future, all public services will use blockchain technology.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and member states to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” Gabriel said. “The Partnership launched today enables member states to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

The European Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February and will invest some €300 million ($370M USD) in projects supporting the use of blockchain.