The European Commission announced in a press release today, Feb. 1, the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in a major step aimed at “uniting” the economy around Blockchain.
In the most hands-on step to leverage the promise of the technology to date for the EU, the project will bring together various sectors — including regulators and politicians — to develop new use cases.
European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Ivanova Gabriel was quoted in the official press release saying that the project would become “one of the world's most comprehensive repositories of blockchain experience and expertise.”
“It will build an open forum for Blockchain technologists, innovators, citizens, industry stakeholders, public authorities, regulators and supervisors, to discuss and develop new ideas and directions,” she continued.
The 28-member bloc has actively sought to understand how it can involve itself in Blockchain and promote it to citizens for several years. Research published by the European Parliament in 2017 claimed that Blockchain would “change the lives” of EU residents, with efforts nonetheless focusing on areas such as data and identity over economic overhauls.
At the same time, the official treatment of cryptocurrency itself in the EU remains much more cautious — plans to end anonymous transactions on digital wallets and exchanges were approved in December last year.