Europe’s largest, and the world’s fourth-largest economy has opened a consultation process on the applications of blockchain technology. Germany intends on presenting a concrete strategy for the industry by the summer.
As reported by Reuters, the government invited all stakeholders in the blockchain industry to table their recommendations for the way forward. Quoting government sources, the report revealed that blockchain startups in the capital, Berlin, have continued to pressure the government to formulate and implement regulations for the industry.
It’s not yet clear whether the recommendations will form the basis of new regulation.
In Germany, blockchain technology has continued to attract interest from a wide array of companies. They include global giants in pharmaceuticals, energy, the public sector and the automotive industry.
The sources also revealed that the blockchain industry has continued to thrive despite the lack of regulations. In Berlin alone, there are 170 firms that explore the applications of the technology. The number is expected to keep growing as more companies recognize the potential that the technology has.
Germany is one of Europe’s biggest startup hubs. Its capital, Berlin, is especially important and continues to churn out multi-billion dollar startups such as digital banking platform N26, travel site GetYourGuide and used-car marketplace, Auto1 Group. It’s ranked as Europe’s second-biggest startup hub after London.
Berlin is home to some of the biggest blockchain startups in Europe. The biggest and by far the most renowned is IOTA. The project targets the Internet of Things, enabling machine-to-machine data sharing and micropayments. Other blockchain startups include micropayment startup SatoshiPay and blockchain banking startup Bitwala.
Germany’s push for blockchain regulation comes at a time when many other nations are struggling to find the way forward. In the U.S, the SEC is miles behind and is even yet to decide which tokens constitute securities and which don’t. The U.K is also yet to formulate a comprehensive regulatory framework, instead adopting a wait-and-see approach.
It’s the smaller nations that have pioneered the regulation of the nascent industry. Malta has been one of the beacons of crypto and blockchain regulation. The country, aptly nicknamed the Blockchain Island, has continued to formulate and enforce enabling regulations. Led by a crypto-friendly Prime Minister in Joseph Muscat, the nation is doing what many giants have been unable to.
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