Blockchain Adoption in Romania Lags Despite EU Funding

Even though the EU seems to be very confident about the potential of blockchain technology, Romania keeps stagnating in terms of blockchain adoption.

The European Commission has allocated a significant amount for blockchain-oriented projects, but there is still no initiative at government level in Romania, according to local non-profit organization Initiative for Competitiveness (INACO).

INACO representatives noted in a statement:

“The European Union provides funding for blockchain development in the amount of 340 million in the period 2018-2020. The European objective is to develop a common and unitary business approach to blockchain technology. Currently, Romania accounts for less than 0.8% of blockchain projects at European level, which represent 65 blockchain-oriented projects under development, while at European level there are over 8,200 active projects.”

The Blockchain Observatory and Forum is the latest and most relevant initiative from the European Union in this regard. The new entity will monitor the development of the technology at European level and will act as a center for the promotion of European players in the blockchain space.

The European Commission has lauded the potential of the distributed ledger technology (DLT), noting that it would have a significant impact on administration, businesses, and society in general.

The EU has so far provided 83 million euro for blockchain projects, mainly through its research and innovation program Horizon 2020. The technology is being tested for cross-border payments, taxation, VAT reporting, customs, medical records management, and ID management, among others.

At the global level, venture capital firms have invested about 1.2 billion euro in blockchain projects initiated by over 1,100 companies, of which 300 are European.

However, Romania remains one of the laggards in terms of blockchain projects development.

“Even if some entrepreneurs have observed the huge potential for innovation and fundraising, there is no initiative at the government level, although the impact would be major. Blockchain would help us overcome the shortcomings of centralized power structures and the lack of modernized infrastructure […]. The technology would reduce risk and fraud by facilitating much better control over monetary policy and taxing,” INACO concluded.

In Romania, there seems to be growing interest in the technology from entrepreneurs, but lack of public decisions is slowing blockchain adoption and the alignment with European tendencies.