articleStartImage

lovenia’s Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, has expressed his desire to poise his country to become the number-one destination for developers of blockchain technology in the EU.

“The regulatory bodies and ministries are already studying blockchain, and the state is participating in activities at European level in the area of the introduction and regulation of this technology. We are also already laying the foundations for the initial pilot testing of the technology in the state administration,” said the PM yesterday.

The country already hosts big players in this arena such as ICONOMI, a marketplace for digital assets that has become the largest European ICO, with more than 3000 backers contributing over $10 million. 

Slovenia aims to transform its dream into reality by backing a blockchain think tank that will operate in conjunction with the state to spread awareness of the technology and assist in drafting proposals for legislation. 

Cerar’s optimism about blockchain reflects an attitude in Slovenia that has been present since 2003, when it began taking initiatives to adopt eGovernment solutions for its municipalities.

Slovenia’s internet penetration rate sits at roughly 78 percent for the general population and at a whopping 99 percent for its private enterprise operators, making it a highly-connected country that can—at least in theory—tackle most of its administrative burdens using “connected” solutions that run on blockchains.

The European Union as a whole has a relatively suspicious attitude towards blockchain solutions that power financial services. The decentralized nature of blockchain-powered financial markets makes them extraordinarily difficult to regulate.

Regulations that the European Union has drafted, which enter into effect in each member state by January 2018, cement this attitude into law, making them officially recognize and keep an eye out for Bitcoin and other blockchain-based transactions.

To be fair, most regulations proposed by the EU and European Central Bank are financial in nature and have very little to do with the other projects that blockchains are powering across Europe and the rest of the world. 

Still, countries like Slovenia continue to have a more relaxed attitude than Brussels does about cryptocurrencies. It is, after all, the second-largest Bitcoin market in Europe.

In the future, we may continue to see a trend in Eastern European countries embracing blockchain technology and even using them in their administration, much like how Ukraine does in its cadastral registry.