SWIFT, IBM, Ripple and around 100 other firms and organizations have joined a new blockchain association to promote adoption of the technology across the EU.
A European Commission initiative, the new group – the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) – is launching Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium.
INATBA has been set up as a “global multi-stakeholder forum” aimed to bring together developers and users of blockchain technology to promote mainstream adoption across multiple sectors.
The association plans to build a framework to encourage public and private sector collaboration, dialogue with regulators and policymakers and "legal predictability," as well as ensure "integrity and transparency" in blockchain infrastructures. It will also develop guidelines and specifications for blockchain and distributed ledger-based applications.
The group also includes other notable members, including banks such as Barclays and BBVA, consultancy firm Accenture and French beauty product giant L'Oreal. A number blockchain startups are on board too, such as ethereum development studio ConsenSys AG, blockchain tech firm Bitfury, enterprise blockchain firm R3, cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker Ledger and cryptocurrency protocol developer IOTA (which is also on the board).
The formation of INATBA has been in the public arena about for some months. Carlos Kuchkovsky, BBVA’s head of research and development for new digital business, said in November that the association could have an important role to play in terms of developing blockchain best practices and standards and "avoiding fragmentation on a European level.”
The Brussels launch today will see several European Commission officials speaking, including Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, who will provide the keynote. There will also be panels, such as a discussion of the potential of blockchains.
A joint declaration of support from members is also being recorded on different blockchains at the event.
The European Commission has launched a number initiatives to promote the adoption of blockchain technology. Last spring, it formed the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) along with 22 member countries to support the delivery of cross-border digital public services based around the tech. The Commission also set up the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, with ConsenSys as its member, last February.
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