The EU Commission Signs up Leading Banks for its New ‘Blockchain Association’

The Executive body of the European Union (EU), the European Commission (EC), is in the process of signing up and has already secured a number of leading banks to its new ‘Blockchain Association’.

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One of those behemoths joining the initiative is the Spanish bank BBVA who last Tuesday published an article announcing the news: “BBVA joins launch of EU blockchain platform”.

BBVA is one of the first five banks invited to join a blockchain forum organized by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to, subsequently, join the launch of the IATBA, an European platform to promote the use of blockchain. The purpose of this publicly-sponsored initiative is to garner support from private blockchain and DLT experts to contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies.

The EC’s International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA) aims to bring together private companies interested in exploring the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) to transform digital services at a global level. BBVA has been invited by the EC as one of the first to participate, owing to their previous experience with Blockchain technology. Whilst non of the other four parties have not come forward, Expansión has reported Santander may be another.

The article goes on to state:

The European Union does not want to miss the blockchain train. For this purpose, the EC convened representatives from public institutions and the private sector in a conference entitled ‘Uniting EU Industries to lead blockchain technologies.’…

The ‘conference’ referenced was infact a Blockchain Roundatble held by the EC on the 20th November 2018. The organisers elaborated on its purpose, stating:

The Roundtable’s objective is to gather support among EU industry leaders and policy makers for a comprehensive EU strategy to boost innovation and exploitation of blockchain technology.

Carlos Kuchkovsky, Head of Research & Development, New Digital Business at BBVA who attended the roundtable, stressed the positioning and influence of the project and its ability to help establish a ‘Blockchain best practices and standard’ amongst European countries and the opportunity to influence global standards in this still early stage technology. The Commission appears to be in agreement with this notion and believe blockchain will play a major role going forward, as they write:

Blockchain will transform digital services. This is a major opportunity to increase trust and to improve services in a wide range of industries and sectors. Many governments and companies are already exploring the potential of this technology, across sectors such as energy, healthcare, financial services, supply chain management, manufacturing, transport, education, creative industries and public services. These are just some of the sectors that will be transformed by blockchain.

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