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EU to utilize blockchain to verify educational and professional credentials

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The European Commission is ramping up its pursuit to integrate blockchain technology in several industries across the continent, with the latest being a use case in credential verification.

In an announcement, the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) confirmed the launch of an ambitious project for cross-border verification under a decentralized framework. According to available details, EU residents will be able to verify their academic and professional credentials using blockchain across multiple jurisdictions.

EBSI disclosed that the project would be carried out in partnership with blockchain infrastructure provider Protokol as part of efforts to explore use cases for Web3 outside of financial markets. Platform users will store and access their documents and credentials on a Protokol issued digital wallet, dispensing the need for additional paperwork and jurisdictional bureaucracy.

“We believe that blockchain and Web3 technology have enormous potential to transform a wide range of industries and prepare them for the future,” Lars Rensing, Protokol CEO, said.

EBSI disclosed that the new blockchain-based cross-border verification plan would be merged with existing EU initiatives like the EUeID. Presently, it is unclear if the EUeID will pivot to blockchain, but questions over protection of personal data and privacy continue to fuel speculation.

The Protokol project is one of 20 blockchain accepted cohorts in EBSI’s blockchain sandbox for 2023, successfully satisfying the requirements for business, legal and regulatory relevance. Selected cohorts will be paired with national or EU regulators to engage in “constructive dialogue” to ensure compliance with existing rules.

Similar digital identity projects leveraging blockchain are springing up around the world with support from governments. In the Philippines, Twala unveiled its digital self-sovereign ID (SSI) to improve the pace of the verification procedure in the country and prevent bad actors from stealing submitted details.

EU is opening its arms to blockchain

The EU has several initiatives under its belt to incorporate blockchain across several sectors, but an underlying theme is a slow-and-steady approach. The European Central Bank (ECB) is leaning toward blockchain for its proposed digital euro, citing immutability, scalability, and transparency as reasons.

European commercial banks are also exploring the tokenization of securities with blockchain, with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) given regulatory authority over the pilot. German banks have begun trials involving deposit tokens minted on distributed ledgers in an attempt to improve the regime of payments in the country.

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