The EU’s European Parliament has recently mandated the European Commission to implement a pilot project in order to build up technical expertise and regulatory capacity for blockchain technology. The European Commission in response announced that it intends to launch a call for tender for a service contract to set up an ‘EU Blockchain Observatory’, with an estimated budget of €500,000 over a period of 2 years.
The EC wants the new body to consist of both an observatory and a forum to gather opinions and to voice concerns around blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT). It will have the goal of becoming an EU expertise hub to discuss forward-looking topics on blockchain and develop use cases of interest at EU level.
The purpose will be to inform and assist the European Commission in understanding what role – if any – European public authorities should play to encourage the development and adoption of these technologies and to formulate related policy recommendations.
The observatory is expected to provide an up to date overview of relevant initiatives relying on the technology around the world and to follow up closely on the developments and the related challenges and opportunities for European industry, citizens and governments.
It will also develop expertise on topics such as infrastructure, governance and validation mechanisms, smart contracts, regulatory and legal challenges, interoperability and standards, build and animate a platform for the European blockchain community and explore possible use cases with a value added at the EU level.