Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the biggest political party, flew to America to meet representatives from tech giants during a private event “BigTech: the way forward.”
“Italy is the first country in Europe that has already introduced the blockchain in its own legislation, equating the notarization of deeds made by a notary with that made with blockchain. Smart contracts have been a reality in our system since December,” Di Maio said.
In providing further details on a new one billion euro investment fund to promote blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and the digitization of Italy’s economy, Di Maio said:
“[The fund] will be fundamental in the next years to digitize our country and finance innovative start-ups.”
The investment fund announced last month aims to reach €2 billion through attractive tax incentives with 15% of the profits to be reinvested back into the fund.
“The investment in this fund is strategic for our economy, for our knowledge and for keeping young people here,” Di Maio said.
Italy’s economy has been sluggish in recent years following a nearly decade long premiership by Silvio Berlusconi who became known for his bunga bunga parties.
Many usually highly educated young Italians have left in search of better economic prospects, with a political revolution of sorts bringing to power Di Maio.
The somewhat populist Five Stars Movement appears to be a strong backer of cryptos with its co-founder, Beppe Grillo, promoting blockchain tech as advanced innovation.
Italy thus is following other European countries, including Britain, France, Switzerland, Estonia and recently Germany, in promoting blockchain technology with Di Maio stating there’s a need to review regulations as the inspiring principle must be to allow innovation “to proliferate in Italy.”
The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Minister for Economic Development, met with representatives from Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Saleforce, Tesla and Virgin Galactic during this session.
Previously he attended a conference organized by the Bank of America with an audience of financial operators and made a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.