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Europe gets Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The European Commission (EC) on February 01 launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum to boost blockchain activities in the region.

The initiative is being backed by the European Parliament, represented by Jakob von Weizsäcker. In fact, the Blockchain Observatory and Forum was created as a European Parliament pilot project proposed by Weizsacker and is intended to support the Commission's work of FinTech. In addition, the EC said that blockchain startup ConsenSys has been selected to support the observatory's outreach in Europe following a call for tenders launched last year.

According to the official release, the new launched observatory will highlight key developments of the blockchain technology, promote European actors and reinforce European engagement with multiple stakeholders involved in blockchain activities.

“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making,” Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said.

Noting the blockchain efforts by member states, the EC said that it want to build on the existing initiatives, while ensuring that they can work across borders, consolidate expertise and address the challenges created by the new paradigms enabled by blockchain. The observatory will promote an open forum for blockchain technologists, innovators, citizens, industry participants, regulators and other stakeholders to discuss and develop new ideas in order to learn, engage and contribute in an open way

The EC said has been actively supporting blockchain projects through the EU’s research programmes FP7 and Horizon 2020, adding that it will fund projects working on blockchain technologies for up to €340 million up to 2020. It is currently working on a FinTech Action Plan, which will be presented in the spring.

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