The EU Parliament's in-house research office has published a wide-ranging new report on blockchain technology.
Aimed at providing an educational framework for members of the EU's legislative branch, the report explores use cases including digital currency, patent protection, e-voting and smart contracts.
Researchers working for the EU Parliament have explored aspects of the tech in the past. For example, a think tank sponsored by the Parliament analyzed how the technology's ability to secure data could ensure election transparency in a paper published in October.
That topic and others are touched upon in the new research paper, which projects that blockchain could significantly impact society.
The authors write:
Ultimately, the paper's authors feel the tech could deliver benefits to EU citizens, even if it proves to be applicable only in certain cases.
"While the most idealistic and revolutionary visions of blockchain development will probably remain no more than visions, even moderate implementation of blockchain may still promote some degree of redistribution and transparency," the authors state.
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