The European Union is taking a wait and see approach towards blockchain technology according to a statement by Open Forum Europe (OFE), a not-for-profit, European-based independent think tank.
They cite a number of EU developments in support of their conclusion. Pointing, in particular, to the establishment of an EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum by the European Commission in July.
The forum is to act as an expertise hub for blockchain technology and its application in an EU wide context. OFE states:
“This pilot project is to include an observatory and a forum to gather input on Blockchain technology. The main goals are to establish an EU expertise resource for forward-looking Blockchain topics, and develop EU use cases; another goal is to assist the EC in determining what role – if any – government authorities can play to encourage the creation of such technologies and to develop policy recommendations.”
The forum was launched after an EU Parliamentary workshop on blockchain technology when a German MEP stated the invention could have systemic ramifications.
Germany, in particular, has a competitive advantage in the industrial application of blockchain technology as some companies, such as Innogy, appear to be far ahead of the rest.
But much of Europe is far behind, especially with the looming exit of Britain. EU’s foreign ministers are to meet tomorrow in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, to devise a Fintech strategy.
That umbrella term covers blockchain technology, including smart contracts and tokens issued through it. With the high level meeting seen by some as Estonia’s response to Draghi’s comments that they could not launch an estcoin token and ICO.
The outcome of the meeting will be closely observed as Europe, in some ways, stands at a crossroad as far as this technology is concerned.
Analysts will be looking to see what tone they use, and how they weigh the benefits of innovation with other considerations in the words they choose.