Seven EU member states have recently released a declaration, which calls to promote the use of distributed ledger technology, better known to crypto enthusiasts as blockchain, citing the trust-based tech as a “potential game-changer.”
Transforming The Mediterranean
The declaration, signed in Brussels on December 4th, 2018, was proposed by Malta, a.k.a. the “Blockchain Island,” and has now seen six other Mediterranean countries sign the document. These countries are as follows: France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and Greece.
The official document states that implementing blockchain technology into society could help the aforementioned European Union countries, especially those based in the South, to “expand their digital ecosystem”:
“We believe that Distributed Ledger Technologies, along with other emerging technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things could be a strong contributor that will help Southern European countries transform the way that we experience as well as to expand their digital ecosystem including Research & Development and innovation”
The implementation of smart contracts into government-based services, no matter how mundane or complex, could potentially “transform” how specific services are delivered and help reduce administrative burdens. According to the document, smart contracts, such as those based on the Ethereum Network, could be duly applied to a number of sectors. Some sectors, in which blockchain technologies would serve a purpose, also highlighted by the nations include, supply chain management, education, transportation, “mobility, shipping, land registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare.”
The “Blockchain Island”
Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, recently tweeted how proud he was to see his country (the EU’s smallest state) develop into a trailblazer, especially in terms of the adoption of blockchain technology and crypto.
@MaltaGov leads 6 other EU Member States to sign a joint declaration on cooperation on #blockchain technology. Proud to see the smallest nation in the EU taking a leading role. Thank you #France #Spain #Italy #Portugal #Greece & #Cyprus for your support.@MaltainEU #ourfuture -SS pic.twitter.com/poyETgZwCw
— Silvio Schembri (@SilvioSchembri) December 4, 2018
Malta has been championing cryptocurrency and related technologies for some time. In November, the island granted Bitstraq Exchange, an up and coming Bitcoin-friendly platform, a Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) license. This single act set a precedent for other crypto-friendly nations to adopt a solid regulatory stance, especially when it comes to growing their budding crypto ecosystem.
Also this year we’ve seen the nation attracting many other crypto companies, including Binance, to start setting up a base on the Mediterranean island, also a tourist hotspot.
Blockchain Across Europe
Many blockchain based entities now want to see Europe as a whole become a pioneer in the application of distributed ledger. Ripple, NEM, EMUGRO/Cardano, and Fetch.AI have recently set up a lobbying group to help push the blockchain industry forward in the EU. In a press release, the group stated their vision is to “create a unified voice for the industry at a European level”:
“The association’s goals are to foster the understanding within EU- and member state institutions on the true nature and potential of the distributed ledger (DLT) and blockchain technology, and to ensure that upcoming regulation promotes and boosts innovation in Europe.”