The first node within a European network of 30 distributed blockchain nodes has been launched in Belgium this February 12th.
Belnet and Smals, both Belgian software companies, have been working together to build the Belgian component of this European blockchain project with Belnet stating:
“The first Belgian node was set up by Belnet and has been in full working order since 12 February. This makes our country the very first to do so within this European project. A second Belgian node is being prepared by Smals.
Other bodies from various European member states will follow in the coming weeks to create a network of 30 distributed blockchain nodes throughout Europe. Together, these will be the foundation with which to provide cross-border digital services based on blockchain technology.”
The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) is a joint initiative from the European Commission and the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) to deliver EU-wide cross-border public services using blockchain technology.
The European Commission, which is kind of EU’s civil service, will operate a minimum number of EBSI nodes at a European level and the Member States will operate EBSI nodes at a national level. All the nodes will be able to create and broadcast transactions that will update the ledger, they say.
One use case for this is “leveraging blockchain technology to securely share data (e.g. IOSS VAT identification numbers and import one-stop-shop) amongst customs and tax authorities in the EU.”
This so far under the radar project is the biggest endeavor of a government initiated blockchain implementation as far as we are aware, with it seemingly creating a continent wide digital network that has had its first node turned on in neutral Belgium.
Other use cases are to be added, with little detail here at a technical level at least on the surface, but it looks like this is laying out the infrastructure for continental digitization in general and blockchain connections specifically, with tons of potential here in finance and industry once the other nodes turn on.