Tech 12 March 2019Steve Kaaru
Report calls on EU to stay ahead of US, China in blockchain race
Blockchain technology has come full circle. It started with mistrust and criticism from governments who associated it with cryptocurrencies. Now, everyone is embracing it. The European Union believes that the region must do more to boost its chances of winning the blockchain arms race.
In a recent report, the EU laid out the various factors that will make or break the development of blockchain technology in the region. The report was titled “Scalability, Interoperability And Sustainability of Blockchains.” It was prepared by the New York-based Ethereum incubator, ConSensys on behalf of the EU’s Blockchain Observatory and Forum.
For blockchain technology to mature and thrive, there are three areas that developers must address. The first is scalability, enabling the handling of large volumes of transactions. They must also be sustainable over a long period of time, the report added. They must also be inter-operable, both with other blockchains and the off-chain world.
To start off, the region must invest in research, the report continued. This is an area in which the EU has invested in. However, governments can do more to support the industry. This includes applying the technology themselves. They added:
“Last but not least, we believe European governments need to be open to these changes, employing blockchain themselves in government services where it makes sense and so preparing themselves for the potential mass adoption of this technology.”
The report further called on governments to foster the development of blockchain technology in their jurisdictions. They can do this by creating an enabling environment for blockchain developers. They can also implement interoperability standards allowing projects to share data without the risk of data leakage.
The EU must not become slack in its role as a leader in technology, the report urged. However, so far, the region has taken many objectives to become the blockchain hub. They include the formation of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. The EU has also allocated over $380 million under its Horizon 2020 programme for blockchain development.
Even with these initiatives, other regions are also stepping up their efforts to develop blockchain technology. The two biggest ones so far are the U.S. and China, the report acknowledged. The U.S. has even included blockchain research in its $700 billion defense budget.
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