A European Commission vice-president has called on EU nations to commit to blockchain technology which he says is moving out of the lab and going mainstream.
In a speech centered on digitization, a vice president of the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – pinpointed blockchain technology as an area that EU nations ought to be committing to. EC vice-president Andrus Ansip underlined blockchain technology among “the areas where Europe is best positioned to play a leading role” alongside artificial intelligence (AI).
The official was offering the opening remarks of the European Union’s annual ‘Digital Day’ initiative held in Brussels this year when he stated:
I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment [as with AI] to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream. As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.
To this end, the EC official called on national governments and private sectors to contribute to the cause, stating the EU’s own “public purse only goes so far”, representing roughly 1% of the annual wealth generated by EU economies. “[W]e need hard cash,” he added, bluntly.
The notable remarks come within weeks of EU launching its own ‘Blockchain Observatory and Forum’ earlier in February. First announced by the EC last year, the establishment was in response to a European Parliament mandate to strengthen EU’s technical expertise in new technologies.
The EC now says it will invest €300 million in projects directly related to the use of blockchain technology. The Commission also revealed it is laying the groundwork required to establish a European Blockchain Partnership in order to promote “interoperable infrastructures”, presumably between EU nations, to enhance and foster trusted digital services.
Meanwhile, EC officials have previously hinted at introducing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as recently as February.
This article was first published by Samburaj Das at CCN.com