The EU has formed an international association tasked with promoting the governance and development of blockchain technologies.
The International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) aims to develop a framework to promote public and private sector collaboration. While also creating a framework to bring about regulatory convergence.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society commented today that: “Europe must make more of technological innovation and blockchain technology is an innovation that Europe cannot afford to miss.”
“As digital services become increasingly widespread, we need to be able to trust their security and reliability, and blockchain offers myriad possibilities in this regard. We have an opportunity to develop an inclusive partnership that will help it flourish.”
Blockchains are distributed journals which keep a record of transactions or interactions. Depending on the use case the journal adds a new block of transactions in intervals. Every user holds a copy of the complete chain, thus transactions can be pair and contrasted to make sure that the new block of transactions are correct.
A computer is chosen to upload the next block by being the first to solve a mathematical equation. As the computer which adds the block is random and must have the agreement of over half the other computers in the system, the system is decentralised. Thus you get an accurate record of transactions without the need for a centralised overseer.
The EU is supporting blockchain technology with investment through its Horizon 2020 research and innovation initiative. Since 2017 they have invested €141 million into projects relating to digital identity, eHealth and energy.
Last year 22 European countries joined a new European Blockchain Partnership. Into which the Commission committed a further €300 million to the technology, the European Commission (EC)’s Mariya Gabriel commented at the time: “In future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe to rethink their information systems.