The prospects for blockchain technology’s future are rising in the EU.
That’s because the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) just launched this week in the bloc’s capital, Brussels. INATBA’s fruition resulted from the EU Blockchain Industry Round Table, a group hosted by the European Commission, which is the EU’s foremost administrative and legislative institution.
Per its launch announcement, the association said it would strive to bring together stakeholders from all walks of the EU in order to help bring blockchain tech into the European mainstream:
“To unlock the full transformational potential and harness the benefits of blockchain and DLT for businesses, the public sector and society at large, INATBA aims to develop a framework that promotes public and private sector collaboration, regulatory convergence, legal predictability and ensures the system’s integrity and transparency.”
Notably, the body’s members include traditional business powerhouses like Accenture, Barclays, and SWIFT as well as cryptoverse groups like Ripple Labs and the IOTA Foundation.
Congratulations #INATBA members! It is together we can help unlock the full potential of #blockchain & #DLT and put it to the service of our citizens & businesses. Public & private can now cooperate better together with integrity and transparency enhancing our citizens trust pic.twitter.com/ytXAHB4NMd
— Mariya Gabriel (@GabrielMariya) April 3, 2019
A declaration of support was accordingly signed by INATBA’s participants and published on top blockchains, or in the case of IOTA upon the project’s Tangle, a directed acyclic graph (DAG) system that can function similarly as a distributed ledger.
IOTA Foundation co-founder Dominik Schiener called the formal activation of the association a sign that the technologies underpinning the cryptoeconomy have plenty of room to grow toward the mainstream:
“We have established our own Public Regulatory Affairs team to lead this effort and are excited to be one of the founding members of INATBA. The strength and size of this association, as well as the support of the European Commission and other governments, only further shows the future limitless potential for Distributed Ledger Technologies.”
Surge of Official Interest in Blockchain in Europe
The INATBA’s launch comes a few months after ministers from seven Southern EU nations came together to issue a resolution declaring their intentions to work together to advance their respective and collective embraces of blockchain tech.
The Ministers of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain have issued a joint statement on their intent to make Southern Europe a leader in blockchain tech. No mention yet of Bitcoin or public chains, but a positive reference to privacy.https://t.co/gfQekW8vqB
— Balaji (@balajis) December 7, 2018
Participants in the declaration included transportation ministers from some of Europe’s top economies, including Italy, France, and Spain. That dynamic has undoubtedly influenced smaller European countries to take heed and start tackling blockchain initiatives more proactively.
In their announcement, the ministers said the tech had the ability to enhance life for Europeans, particularly with respect to their privacy:
“Due to its nature, we are of the view that Distributed Ledger Technologies can result in enhanced transparency, accountability and privacy for the end-users. In this sense, we believe that the promotion of privacy through blockchain enhanced solutions could be a way forward, empowering citizens to be in control of their own personal data.”
Europe’s Tighter Privacy: PayPal Just Invested in a Blockchain Startup That Can Help
Speaking of privacy, the advancement of the EU’s wider General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) has brought a ton of recent attention to the subject, as the new rules mandate companies operating in the bloc to enforce much stricter protections on users’ data.
Of course, tighter privacy regulations are better for users, but enforcing the GDPR’s rules entails much more tedious work for EU companies.
That’s where a startup like Cambridge Blockchain comes in. Cambridge, which made waves this week for having PayPal Ventures participate in its Series A, leverages blockchain tech for identity management, which is to say their platform secures and validates users’ identities so enterprises can have access to relevant data without having to access to specific user identities.
That’s one company and one use case. But the example demonstrates that IOTA’s Dominik Schiener was perhaps correct in saying distributed ledgers may have plenty potential for adoption in the years ahead.