The government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state in Germany has announced a plan to establish a European Blockchain Institute to research blockchain technology, and so-called “Internet of Values” (“Internet der Werte”).

A local press release quotes NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart as saying that the European Blockchain Institute will be founded in the city of Dortmund later in 2019, to be housed within the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML).

The minister said that Dortmund was a strategic location thanks to its technical university, and the extra motivation for this was due to ongoing pressure to compete with American scientists hot on the heels of this Internet of Values research. As Europe had much to catch up with, NRW should take on the chance to be a pioneer in researching blockchain innovation to “digitally record business-to-business transactions in perpetual eternity”. The best-known example of this database technology is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, although other use cases include title deeds, contracts, licenses, subscriptions and monetary transactions.

Addressing concerns by critics who claim that Bitcoin mining is excessive in energy use and harmful to the environment, Pinkwart spoke well of the benefits of blockchain innovation:

“This technology can be safe, decentralized, affordable and, when used properly, not too energy-intensive.”

Bitcoin News reported earlier in May that Germany hosted the most nodes in the world for both Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.


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