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Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

Source: bitcoin

EU

Europe is taking blockchain technology and fintech solutions very seriously. All across the land, government officials, new startups, financial executives, and educators are promoting these emerging markets with much excitement. With investments being made within various European countries, and strategic discussions with parliament, it seems the Europe wants a leading edge in this growing environment.

Also read: Peter Todd Exposes MIT ChainAnchor Project That Enables Tracking Bitcoin User’s Identity

Dutch Bank Partners With Nexuslab Blockchain Ventures

recent partnership between the Dutch Rabobank and the Swiss-based Nexuslab will be geared towards early-stage European blockchain ventures. Switzerland’s blockchain startup program Nexuslab will be advised by experts from Rabobank, and the collaboration will give the bank access to the European startup Nexussquared. Both companies will host in-person hangout sessions in Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and Zurich. Daniel Grassinger, Managing Director of Nexuslab and co-founder of Nexussquared stated in the recent partnership announcement:

“We’re excited to work with Rabobank on this first round of Nexuslab. The engagement of a leading international industry player demonstrates Switzerland’s ability to play a central role in the development of the European blockchain ecosystem. Together with Rabobank, Startupbootcamp and our infrastructure and IT-partner SwissQ we have created an unparalleled offering for aspiring European blockchain startups to turn their ideas and visions into viable businesses.”

London Is All About Blockchain Technology

In a presentation at London’s Digital Catapult, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock had some positive statements to say about blockchain technology. Hancock told attendees that digital ledger protocols give distributed consensus of everyone in the chain. He feels that data held within the chain has protection from central authority censorship and has “built-in immutability.” The Cabinet Office minister said during his speech, “we’re exploring the use of a blockchain to manage the distribution of grants. Monitoring and controlling the use of grants is incredibly complex. A blockchain, accessible to all the parties involved, might be a better way of solving that problem.” Another London proponent for the emerging technology is George Galloway, who is currently a Mayoral candidate, former Labour Party MP and current leader of The Respect Party. Galloway says in a recent podcast that if he becomes Mayor of London, he will use blockchain technology to provide a transparent budget.

Parliament to Regulate Blockchain Tech ‘Softly.’

Alongside these announcements, the European Union’s parliament has been considering what to do with blockchain technology as far as regulation is concerned. According to a recent report from Reuters, certain members of the EU council want to regulate these technologies “softly.” Jakob von Weizsaecker, a German member of the European Parliament gave some positive remarks about these protocols to the press and said, “We don’t want pre-emptive regulation, but we do want precautionary monitoring,” However, the virtual currencies and blockchain report given to parliament and passed calls for quite a bit of AML/KYC type of regulatory policies. The report does warn against regulating too harshly and Weizsaecker addresses the subject within the report. Weizsaecker states:

“To avoid stifling innovation, we favour precautionary monitoring instead of pre-emptive regulation. But, IT innovations can spread very rapidly and become systemic. That’s why we call on the Commission to establish a taskforce to actively monitor how the technology evolves and to make timely proposals for specific regulation if, and when, the need arises.”

European Central Bank is Infected by the DLT’s

To add to all the blockchain and digital currency fervor across the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) is full steam ahead with distributed ledger technology. An Executive Board Member of the ECB, Yves Merch said the central bank is researching blockchains and the economic implications. The board member said he considered Europe as a leader in blockchain technology. The declaration coming from Yves Merch doesn’t end the ECB news as another report finds the entity researching the current post-trade landscape, blockchain governance, and the overall implications of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The ECB paper was written by authors who don’t necessarily have the same opinions as the bank describe DLTs in great detail. According to the researchers the definition is:         

“DLTs allow their users to store and access information relating to a given set of assets and their holders in a shared database of either transactions or account balances. This information is distributed among users, who could then use it to settle their transfers of, e.g. securities and cash, without needing to rely on a trusted central validation system”

Europe Knows What Bitcoin and the Blockchain Is

Europe wants to be on the forefront of blockchain technology and financial technology solutions and each and every day this is becoming clearer. People from all around the EU are beginning to find out about cryptocurrency and DLT’s. In Germany, a recent report shows 44% of consumers know what Bitcoin is which is a good sign. Since 2008 Bitcoin has created some pretty cool concepts and ideas that are taking the world by storm. European proponents believe the EU is riding the lightning.   

What do you think about Europe’s fascination with these technologies? Do you believe the region is a leader? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Nexuslabs, Shutterstock, Wiki Commons and Pixbay

The post Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Europe Blockchain Fever: Public, Private Sectors Jumping on Board

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Dub 28

ECB Executive Places Europe As Leader In Blockchain Technology

Source: bitcoin

ECB

The European Central Bank is engaged in “experimental work” on blockchain technology. As some banks have warned, the technology is still too new to know what real world uses it has. But, according to an ECB executive board member on Monday, the central bank is researching how the technology could apply to modern financial systems. 

Also Read: Bitcoin Prices Inches Towards $470. Will $500 Be Next? 

Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Yves Merch, confirmed the ECB is investigating blockchain technology and how it could be adopted by the euro zone’s central banks.

ECB Believes Their Future Might Be Blockchained

“From a central bank perspective, in the context of our strategic reflections on the future of the Eurosystem’s market infrastructures, we are certainly open to new technologies and, like many market players, have launched some experimental work with DLT,” Mersch said. “It is clear that we have a lot of more thinking to do on DLT-related questions and their policy implications.”

He explains that the central bank is in the midst of researching possible technologies to change the future of central banking. Mersch said that blockchain technologies are “one of several possibilities” the central banking system could adopt. Blockchain-inspired technology could lead to “lower costs and a more resilient and legally sound market infrastructure.”

He cautioned: ”But even if, ultimately, DLT emerged as technically superior in terms of safety and efficiency, we will also have to reflect on the wider implications of the use of this technology for the role of central bank money.”

The blockchain technology became a focal point in 2015, overshadowing the Bitcoin technology which had been shrouded in controversy a la the bankrupt Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, and darknet marketplace, Silk Road.

Currently, through partnerships like R3 CEV, some of the largest banks in the world are researching blockchain technology, in particular with Ethereum, an alternative blockchain from Bitcoin.

The Bank for International Settlements, and Santander bank, have posited that blockchain technology could make banking more efficient and less expensive. Many technologists say the blockchain has implications for industries outside of the financial industry.

“The possibility for financial intermediaries and market infrastructures to share a distributed ledger – i.e. a decentralised common database – is something unprecedented,” Mersch said. “It has the potential to advantage some actors, by lowering back-office costs and collateral or capital requirements. At the same time, it may possibly disintermediate or even make redundant some market actors that do not provide core functions.” He implies that a move to blockchain-inspired technology could mean central bank’s have their own, private crypto-currency on a private distributed ledger. 

Bringing our Eurosystem market infrastructures on DLT automatically means bringing central bank money on DLT,” he said. “This may have implications on the central bank functions which go beyond the operational and technical sphere. It is therefore important to structure the discussion along the lines of who could access the central bank ledger.”

He added: “It is clear that we have a lot of more thinking to do on DLT-related questions and their policy implications. Before wielding the hammer we have to make sure that we have a strong anvil.”

No Blockchain-Specific Regulations For Now

EU lawmakers decided recently they would not yet regulate blockchain technology. “We don’t want pre-emptive regulation, but we do want precautionary monitoring,” Jakob von Weizsaecker, a German center-left member of the European Parliament, informed Reuters.

The regulators claimed they did not want to stifle innovation in financial technology. “One reason why regulating now in detail would be difficult is that we don’t know yet what the most important use of blockchain might be,” von Weizsaecker said.

BitStamp’s history paints a portrait that regulators also believe they already have the regulations necessary to keep an eye on Bitcoin. That exchange recently received a license from Luxembourg to operate as a money transmitter. 

The report is not held as law. It requests the European Commission to monitor blockchain and fintech developments.

Andrew Hauser, BoE executive director for payments, said last week the authorities had to keep abreast of blockchain.

“Central banks can’t afford to be Ubered,”Andrew Hauser, BoE executive director for payments, Andrew Hauser quipped of the EU lawmakers to not spell out further details.

This, coupled by the European Central Bank and BitStamp’s transmission license, spells an optimistic future for blockchain technologies. Bitcoin could benefit from the good news in the general blockchain industry. A block reward halving in the not so distant future – July 10 more or less – the case is being made for a bullish second half for the digital currency.

What do you think about the ECB’s statements on blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!

The post ECB Executive Places Europe As Leader In Blockchain Technology appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

ECB Executive Places Europe As Leader In Blockchain Technology

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