EU Eyes Blockchain Push With New FinTech Action Plan

The European Commission said it will host a Fintech Lab to foster emerging technologies including blockchain starting from Q2 2018.

Mar 9, 2018 at 4:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:39 a.m. UTC

The European Union is beefing up its efforts to foster work around new technologies like blockchain.

According to a 2018 Fintech Action Plan released on Thursday, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – plans to form a new Fintech Lab in the second quarter in 2018.

The new initiative will see participants from EU-level and national authorities, as well as technology providers in Europe, seek to raise the "regulatory and supervisory capacity and knowledge" around new technologies, including blockchain.

"Technologies like blockchain can be game changers for financial services and beyond. We need to build an enabling framework to let innovation flourish, while managing risks and protecting consumers," Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said in a statement.

The report identified areas of possible development, including legal clarifications around smart contracts, initial coin offerings, and other jurisdictional issues raised by the tech.

Indeed, the new plan marks the latest move by the European Union to foster work around blockchain within in a regulated environment.

Currently, according to the document, the European Union has already revised its Payment Services Directive since January this year, which requires banks in the region to open up their communication channels, such as API, to blockchain applications that require payment account integrations, for instance.

The Commission's FinTech plan also highlighted work already done within its Blockchain Observatory initiative, which was launched last year as part of an effort to create a common framework for use of the tech within the economic bloc.

EU flags image via Shutterstock

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