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European Commission rolls out EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The European Commission (EC) made the announcement on the first of February. The entity will highlight important developments in blockchain, promote European actors within the sector, and support European involvement with various stakeholders in blockchain. The EC is partnering with ConsenSys, which will play a support role engaging in European outreach.

Creating a blockchain body is not the EC’s first foray into the technology, as it has funded blockchain projects since 2013 through FP7 and Horizon 2020, the EU’s research programmes.

The Observatory and Forum will act as a location for building European expertise on blockchain, including monitoring and analysing trends and gathering information, demonstrating leadership in the sector, and assisting in helping Europe take advantage of opportunities presented by blockchain. Blockchain’s socioeconomic potential will be researched and best use cases will be established through cross-border cooperation between experts. As an open forum, the entity will be a place for technology experts, innovators, citizens, regulators, and the like to come together to develop and debate new ideas about the technology to foster learning and engagement.

EC digital economy and society commissioner Mariya Gabriel said the following about blockchain and the role of the new entity:

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 Forum and Observatory is a part of the EC’s work in fintech and will play a supporting role in carrying out its ambitions in the sector.

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