The European Parliament has opened a debate on blockchain technology to “monitor developments,” because they see a “public interest,” not to stifle innovation, but perhaps to consider what role the government could play, according to Jakob von Weizsäcker, a German politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
Speaking in an almost perfect British accent, Weizsäcker says they are considering whether the government should use blockchain technology, perhaps to set up infrastructure which would make it easier for private enterprise to innovate.
The member of EU Parliament’s committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, says that in the digital age things can quickly become of systemic relevance. Once you have a real breakthrough, once you have a killer application, all of the sudden you could have exponential growth and issues to deal with in the sense of systemic stability, Weizsäcker says.
Germany in particular has recently seen industrial uses of blockchain tech which could become critical infrastructure at a national security level as some companies are exploring the use of blockchain technology for better management of national grids to co-ordinate misbalances in energy supply and demand.
In further uses, Innogy, one of Germany’s energy giant, has launched hundreds of charging stations which use ethereum’s public blockchain to manage payments for electric cars.
In one of the more interesting statement, Weizsäcker said that we now have more realistic expectations regarding the deployment of blockchain technology in terms of timing, but in term of breadth we have a more enterprising sense in regards to what role this tech could play than two years ago.
Since then, a time before ethereum had launched, smart contracts and blockchain technology has seen uses in supply chains, social networks, goods authentication, the music industry, energy, the oil industry, transport, accountancy, law, and seemingly every industry.
Ethereum, in particular, has considerably shifted the debate because it turns static value exchange into a dynamic codable experience which when linked with other tech advances such as data analytics or sensors could significantly increase industrial efficiency.
Weizsäcker says the idea of being able to create trust in a truly distributed systems, to have smart contracts, these are characteristics that are very appealing. In a significant sign that Europe might perhaps become a significant player in what could be a four-way race.
They couldn’t have entered at a better time. America has plunged into a regulatory mess, as far as Fintech is concerned. China seemingly still doesn’t know what they have, gifting it to Japan and South Korea. UK is of course leading as far as regulation is concerned, but Germany has that industrial powerhouse.
As such, after two centuries, the old story of the industrial revolution might be told again, with the island nations of Britain and Japan racing, Germany too, to take advantage of what may be a digital transformation at a scale of, perhaps, a digital revolution.