Europe's Largest Port Launches Blockchain Research Lab

The Dutch port of Rotterdam, the biggest shipping hub in Europe, is opening a research lab devoted to blockchain technology.

AccessTimeIconSep 25, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:57 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The Dutch port of Rotterdam, the biggest shipping hub in Europe, is opening a research lab devoted to blockchain technology.

Conceived as a "knowledge centre for the regional private sector" and geared towards applied research, the so-called "BlockLab" is being set up in a joint effort between the Municipality of Rotterdam and the port authority to investigate blockchain's potential in organising port logistics and cargo flows more efficiently.

According to a press release, initial steps include the launch of a blockchain app – developed in partnership with cloud software company Exact and ABN AMRO bank – to assist stock financing in the port logistics sector.

Maarten Struijvenberg, Rotterdam's deputy mayor for economic affairs, commented:

"There's this huge buzz about 'blockchain', but actually, there aren't that many fully functional applications. We'll be changing this with BlockLab. This is important, because we need real innovations to launch the next economy. And blockchain can help us realise them."

Not all of the research at BlockLab will be entirely port related, however. The release also reveals an interest in exploring blockchain to give a boost to what it calls "energy transition" – for example, allowing firms to trade residual heat and the city's occupants to trade electricity.

This is not the first effort that the port has made within the blockchain space. Last year, the the authority announced it would be taking part in a blockchain consortium alongside 14 major banks and universities to explore blockchain opportunities within logistics. 

Rotterdam port via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.