European Commission unveils plans for blockchain regulatory sandbox

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The European Commission (EC) has announced plans for a new blockchain regulatory sandbox, in a bid to foster innovation and development in the industry.

Working alongside the European Blockchain Partnership, a 30-country pan-European group set up to further the blockchain industries, the Commission said the sandbox would be in place by 2022.

According to an announcement posted by the Digital Innovation and Blockchain team of the European Commission, the sandbox will be used to provide an environment for the testing of use cases for blockchain tech and digital assets, as part of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure.

The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure is a joint venture set up by the European Blockchain Partnership and the European Commission to deliver public services on a cross-border basis through the use of blockchain technology.

The sandbox will also be used to demonstrate use cases across a range of other industries, including digital identity, data portability and smart contracts in environmental, energy and health sectors.

The Digital Innovation and Blockchain team announcement also said the Commission was focusing on developing regulation to support tokenization and smart contracts on the blockchain.

The news comes in the same week that the European Commission announced plans for a full regulatory framework for digital currencies, which would in effect turn digital currencies into regulated financial instruments.

If passed, the new measures would create the single biggest regulated block space for the digital currency sector in the world, with the EU reportedly keen to move blockchain development further up the political agenda.

The combination of the new EU laws, alongside the proposals for the regulatory sandbox, will help startups and innovators in blockchain develop new ideas and use cases, as well as providing a certain regulatory regime for overseeing the blockchain sectors.

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