Blockchain technology has created so much buzz since its debut, unlike anything else in recent memory. It powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and it’s one of the most promising technologies to emerge. However, there’s more to it than cryptocurrencies.
As a distributed ledger that records information that anyone in the world can view at any time, Blockchain promotes a secure exchange of value without any need for a central authority such as a bank, government or a financial institution. It is essential for building trust online and is expected to serve as a stable foundation for a fair, secure, and inclusive digital economy.
For such reasons, the blockchain has captured the attention of Europe. Governments, enterprises, academic institutions, and the ever-growing blockchain community are discussing what this burgeoning technology can offer European society. Today, Europe has also taken active measures to support the innovation of platforms and applications. A number of initiatives have been created, including the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum.
European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum
Commissioner of Digital Economy and Society at the European Commission Mariya Gabriel launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum earlier this year, on the 1st of February. It is tasked to map existing initiatives within Europe. It’s also meant to monitor trends and emerging issues so that it can be a hub for blockchain technology.
Gabriel sees the blockchain as a game changer. She hopes that Europe can be “at the forefront of its development.” In order for that to become a reality, the EU has to create an enabling environment where all citizens can benefit from the blockchain industry in its entirety and not just a patchwork of initiatives. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum embodies that purpose. As it seeks to accelerate blockchain innovation within the EU, it also aims to cement Europe’s role as a global leader in transformative technology.
Under the Blockchain Observatory and Forum, there are two groups tasked to research and identify blockchain initiatives all around the globe. The two working groups are:
Blockchain Policy and Framework Conditions Working Group: It focuses on cross-industry and cross-technology issues that can help define legal conditions needed to support regulatory predictability for widespread deployment of applications of blockchain tech.
Use Cases and Transition Scenarios Working Group: It centers on the most promising blockchain use cases, especially those involving the public sector – healthcare, energy, and government services, to name a few. The working groups each have 30 members, all of whom were selected from an open call. The groups consist of elite leaders from different fields.
Blockchain Conferences and Initiatives within the EU
Numerous conferences on Blockchain-related topics are also supported by the European Union. One highly respected event this year was the 11th International Scientific-Practical Conference “Digital Economy and Blockchain Technology”, held in June in Varna, Bulgaria under the patronage of Mariya Gabriel.
Organized every year with the joint efforts of academics from Russia and Bulgaria, this year the conference was attended by representatives from Italy, Finland, Russia, Bulgaria, UAE, Germany, Singapore, and the United States. Main areas of discussions in the two-day forum were knowledge and innovation management in higher education, business models in the digital economy, modern financial instruments, marketing challenges and human resources in the digital economy, and practical applications of the Blockchain technology.
Among the carefully selected influential speakers were:
Dr. Mel Gill, known as a legendary Psychotherapist and Counselor, Author of 150+ books, an internationally recognized Corporate and Personal advisor to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and a firm believer in Blockchain participating in numerous Blockchain-based projects;
Jeremias Grenzebach, Co-Founder and Core Developer at Dentacoin Foundation, an EU-based organization developing the first blockchain solution for the global dental industry, recognized by the organizers as the ideal example for a proven-working, globally applied, industry-specific Blockchain solution;
Dr. Arthur Kordon, an expert in applying advanced analytics and artificial intelligence in industry, previously an Advanced Analytics Leader at Dow Chemical, granted a US patent and has published more than 70 papers and 14 book chapters on the topic
“My position is that only if we work together can we increase our capabilities and take full advantage of the potential of the blockchain technology. This requires investing in research and skill development. I believe that we share the common vision about the need to make every effort to ensure that Europe is the leader in this area. Support for research and development, investments and infrastructure, a regulatory framework, will allow us to develop the blockchain technology. The Digital Single Market and all European citizens will benefit from this,” concluded the EU Commissioner in her speech.
Donika Kraeva Experienced in Digital Medical Marketing & Content Writing. Developed Feedback Systems and Patient Loyalty Programs for international dental clinics. Seeking ways to utilize Blockchain advantages in building a patient-driven dental industry. Currently working as a Communications Manager at a company, developing the first Blockchain concept for the global dental industry.