The European Commission (EC) will tender offers for a service contract to establish a European Union (EU) Blockchain Observatory in response to a European Parliament mandate to strengthen technical expertise and regulatory capacity.
The project, announced on the EC website, will include an observatory and a forum to gather input on distributed ledger technology and blockchain technology. The goal is to establish an EU expertise resource for forward-looking blockchain topics and develop EU use cases.
Another goal is to assist the EC in determining what role – if any - government authorities can play to encourage the creation of such technologies and to develop policy recommendations.
The observatory is expected to do the following:
1. Provide a current overview of key initiatives that rely on distributed ledger or blockchain technologies worldwide;
2. Keep track the technology’s developments and the related opportunities and challenges for Europe’s industry, citizens and government;
3. Establish expertise on topics like governance, validation mechanisms, infrastructure, smart contracts, legal and regulatory challenges, standards and interoperability;
4. Develop a platform for the European blockchain community;
5. Explore use cases for the EU.
The project’s estimated budget is 500.000€ for a two-year period. The call for tender will be published in TED eTendering during the second quarter of the current year.
Digital Single Market
The observatory and forum are part of the EC’s strategy of a digital single market strategy that consists of three policy areas. These are:
1) Improving access to digital goods and services. The goal is to make the EU market seamless place to buy and sell.
2) An environment where digital services and networks can prosper. This requires having rules that match the pace of technology and support infrastructure development.
3) Digital as a growth driver. The goal is to make sure Europe’s economy, industry and employment take advantage of digitalization.
Last year, the European Parliament approved a task force to study the blockchain.
The EU Commission also announced last year the unveiling of an initiative to give as many of Europe’s fintech and blockchain entrepreneurs the opportunity to become world leaders, giving them access to potential investors, business partners, research centers and universities.
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