The European Commission Launches Study on Blockchain Potential

European Union funding would flow into researching blockchain technologies and their potential in 2018 with a dedicated public tender.

While 2017 was the year of Bitcoin, it is possible that 2018 becomes the year of the blockchain, as understanding of the technology, its potential and problems are better understood. 

The spreading of blockchain solutions and proposals has gained the attention of the European Commission and a special program was launched to finance a study of the sector. For now, governmental and EU-level funding are notoriously lower than the funds gathered at ICOs, as the European Commission set aside 250,000 EUR for the study. 

At the moment, the legal tender procedure is running and the winner would be selected after January 19, 2018. 

The chief area of interest is whether blockchain technologies may help in the administrative processes of the European Union. 

"This feasibility study will be carried out to assess the opportunity, benefits, and challenges of creating at EU level an enabling framework or infrastructure supporting blockchain-based services. The study will assess if, when and how blockchain technologies may help public authorities to deliver European services and implement policies in an optimised way."

Regarding blockchain, studies have been limited to private companies in the energy sector. The European Central Bank also took part in a feasibility study of the blockchain along with Bank of Japan, but the regulators came to the conclusion that at the current level of technology the blockchain was not feasible for the transactions required in the current financial system. 

The Nordic countries have been much more accepting both of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. The last move by the governments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is to sign a memorandum of understanding for various economic innovations. Among them is a pledge to "supporting the development of capital market innovations and new technologies with a consideration for regional FinTech solutions, e.g. distributed ledger technology. "

The resolution of the Financial ministries of the three countries lines up DLT technologies with other financial innovation, aiming to boost economic activity in the euro area.