Belgium Aims to Accelerate European Blockchain Infrastructure Development

Belgium Aims to Accelerate European Blockchain Infrastructure Development

Belgium’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2024 will focus on developing a European blockchain infrastructure to securely store official documents.

Belgium has announced plans to prioritize the development of a European blockchain infrastructure during its upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union in early 2024. The initiative aims to facilitate the secure storage of official documents, such as driving licenses and property titles, using blockchain technology. Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Digitization, revealed that the development of a public blockchain for pan-EU infrastructure is one of the country’s four priorities for its upcoming presidency. The other three initiatives will address artificial intelligence, online anonymity, and the skills required for the digital economy.

Rebooting the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) Project

Belgium plans to reboot the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project, which was established by the European Commission in 2018 in collaboration with the European Blockchain Partnership. The partnership consists of the 27 EU member states, as well as Norway and Liechtenstein. The renewed project, to be named Europeum, will be used for public administration tasks, including the verification of driver’s licenses and other documents across the European Union. Additionally, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Digitization, Mathieu Michel, suggests that the project could support the infrastructure for a digital euro.

The Importance of a Public Blockchain Developed by EU Member-States

Michel emphasizes the importance of using a public blockchain developed by EU member-states rather than private alternatives. He believes that a public blockchain can provide citizens with control over their data, ensuring security, transparency, and privacy. By utilizing blockchain technology, the European infrastructure can empower individuals by giving them ownership of their personal information.

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Support for the Europeum Plan

Several EU member states have already expressed their support for the Europeum plan. Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Romania have signed up to participate in the project. The head office of Europeum will be located in Belgium, further solidifying the country’s commitment to leading the development of the European blockchain infrastructure.

Regulatory Consolidation in the Crypto and Blockchain Space

The development of a European blockchain infrastructure aligns with the ongoing process of regulatory consolidation in the crypto and blockchain space. In early November, 47 national governments pledged to swiftly incorporate the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) into their domestic law systems. CARF is an international standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.

Conclusion:

Belgium’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2024 presents an opportunity to accelerate the development of a European blockchain infrastructure. The rebooted European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (Europeum) project aims to provide secure storage for official documents and support public administration tasks across the EU. By utilizing a public blockchain developed by EU member-states, the project aims to empower citizens by giving them control over their data. With support from several member states, Belgium is poised to lead the way in creating a robust and secure European blockchain infrastructure. As regulatory consolidation in the crypto and blockchain space continues, the development of such infrastructure marks a significant step towards the widespread adoption of blockchain technology in Europe.

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