The formation of a “Blockchain for Europe” association has been revealed by a press release which names Ripple, NEM, EMURGO/Cardano and Fetch.AI as the founding members.
Published on UK-based technology and finance news website Finextra on 5 Dec, the press release describes that association as “the first credible attempt” to establish a “unified voice” for the European blockchain industry. It argues that policy debates are “fragmented – with inconsistent information from those outside the blockchain sector challenging consensus within it”.
As such, the four members of Blockchain for Europe are taking it upon themselves to educate EU and member-state institutions on the “true nature and potential of distributed ledger (DLT) and blockchain technology”. Like many of the associations before it, Blockchain for Europe echoes concerns with regards to regulations and desires to establish ones that promotes innovation in the region.
Associations in action
There are some merits to the existence of so-called associations as they can often be catalysts for positive change, which is done by pushing pro-blockchain agendas for multiple facets of the industry. They can also function as a means to signal how invested a particular part of the world is in the technology whilst providing direct support for startups and educating bureaucrats and lawmakers.
For example, Mexico recently established its first blockchain consortium that wishes to make uses of the technology safer, reduce crime-related uses of the tech, provide public education and so on. Additionally, the Korean Blockchain Association strives to bring the legalization of domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) to fruition, a topic that is of great concern to industry heads and the government over fears of startups seeking ICO-friendly jurisdictions.
The association is ambitiously setting out to “shape the global agenda on blockchain”. Having already hosted the Blockchain for Europe Summit in November, where international stakeholders discussed healthcare, transport, trade, tokens, cryptocurrencies and more, the association is prepping to make 2019 and formative one.
Commenting in the press release, Dan Morgan, Ripple’s European Head of Regulatory Relations said: “This is a critical time for policymakers in Europe as they seek to develop the right regulatory framework to capture the benefits of both digital assets and blockchain technology.”
Unlike some governing entities around the world, Blockchain for Europe may not be coming up against egregious skepticism. Generally speaking, the EU has positioned itself as a cautious yet optimistic advocate of blockchain technologies. An October meeting in Strasbourg, France, saw Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) debate on how to create “legal certainty” for blockchain, and furthermore, enthusiastically discuss the potential of blockchain.
Additionally, the vice president of the European Commission famously stated that “crypto-assets are here to stay”, offering a positive outlook to startups and enterprises that are venturing into the cryptocurrency and ICO sector of the blockchain industry.
Also offering his thoughts, Manmeet Singh, CIO at EMURGO said: “…we are very keen to work with the European institutions in crafting the rules and regulations which will enable blockchain technology to thrive globally.”
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