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EU demands new standards for blockchain interoperability

EU blockchain

As the blockchain sector evolves, it’s important for policy makers and industry to co-create standards to make multi-layered, interoperable chains a reality.

That’s one of the recommendations made by The EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum – a European Commission initiative tasked with accelerating blockchain innovation and development – in its latest report, which identifies scalability
interoperability, and sustainability as the main challenges facing the industry.

Additionally, the report called for more research amid increased competition with other nations.

“The EU should not rest on its laurels. Both the US and China have expressed strong support for blockchain research, with the former even going so far as to include it as part of its $700 billion defense budget. We therefore recommend that the EU continue its strong support, targeting both basic research as well as supporting implementation of infrastructure-related projects in particular, as well as research into non-technical topics such as governance of blockchain projects.”

Governance, it adds is “a very important topic and a key success factor for blockchain projects,” but remains widely misunderstood.

As a workaround, the report recommends the EU takes a “wait-and-see approach,” in a bid to give blockchain projects enough time to experiment before developing standards or considering governance-related regulations.

Interestingly, the report highlights the EU could support the industry by encouraging more project diversity.

“We think it best, for example, not to mandate specific technologies under the European Blockchain Infrastructure, but rather encourage different technologies to foster innovation,” it says.

Policy makers, it adds, should encourage fiat money on-chain to facilitate blockchain-based payments and the adoption of smart contracts.

Finally, the report calls for increased blockchain awareness among policy makers.

It highlights the need for greater clarity across the legal framework and more education for technologists, entrepreneurs, experts, and the general public.

All in all, very sensible advice, but haven’t we heard it all before?

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Published March 11, 2019 — 17:00 UTC