Things are moving quickly in Europe at the moment in regards to cryptocurrency and the Blockchain. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament scheduled to vote on the virtual currencies report in a matter of days, with the hot summer for cryptocurrency and Blockchain legislation ahead.
In February, the Council of the European Union put virtual currencies on top of a list of targeted areas for rapid progress which led to the topic of digital currencies rising up the ladder of policy agenda in all major institutions.
A new independent non-profit trade body providing thorough regulatory understanding of virtual currencies Brussels-based European Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology Forum (EDCAB) has launched in response to this increased interest.
Expo for policymakers
Created as a public policy platform for digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies it is co-organising a flagship industry expo for policymakers in the European Parliament from 18 to 21 April 2016.
An event that consists of just three roundtables moderated by the founder of the EDCAB Siân Jones for industry and policymakers with representatives from the IMF, World Bank, United Nations, OECD, Bank for International Settlements, Barclays, NASDAQ, Blockchain.info and Circle Internet Financial all in attendence in the European Parliament of Brussels for discussions focusing on virtual currencies is a sign of times.
The European Parliament is preparing its own initiative report on virtual currencies, with the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs scheduled to vote on the report on 25th April 2016.
The European Commission has been considering regulation of virtual currencies through its Action Plan and proposals to combat terrorist financing, with legislation expected to be ready by the end of June.
The newly formed EDCAB intents to shape a sound regulatory and policy agenda for virtual currencies and Blockchain technology in Europe, with EU policymakers, legislators, regulators, and law enforcement in mind.
Founder Siân Jones said: "For a strong and comprehensive policy and regulatory framework, collaboration based on in-depth understanding of the technology and open debate is vital. The creation of EDCAB signals the industry's commitment to work with policymakers over the long term to achieve positive outcomes for the sector and the European citizens it serves.”
Hot summer ahead
The forum is established as a safe environment in which views can be exchanged and to ensure policy decisions are made in full knowledge of the digital currency and blockchain-industry from a business perspective.
Membership is open to non-profit organisations, academic and research institutions, businesses and anyone with an interest in digital currencies and Blockchain technology.
Clearly this is a sign of just how close cryptocurrencies are to breaking through to the mainstream and there can only be positive outcomes from all these meetings and reports due to be completed by the end of June. Combine all this with the bitcoin halving also happening sometime in July, and we are looking at a really hot summer in regards to digital currencies in Europe.