15 March 2018

Brussels, 15 March 2018

You can download the official call for contributors here

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is launched by the Directorate-General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission, with support from the European Parliament.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum (hereafter called the Forum) will:

  • Identify relevant existing and emerging blockchain initiatives, monitor and analyse blockchain developments and trends, as well as the potential implications in terms of opportunities and challenges for Europe and for the effective functioning of the digital single market (DSM);
  • Produce and share knowledge and a more in-depth understanding of opportunities and issues at stake of blockchain technologies, possible use cases and the framework conditions needed to promote deployment, adoption and cross-border use;
  • Create an attractive forum, bringing together Europe’s leading stakeholders, practitioners and experts to facilitate experience sharing and reflections, animate and lead debate engaging with blockchain technologists, innovators, citizens, industry and other organisations and stakeholders.

The aims are to:

  • Build a robust repository of knowledge and experiences that can help accelerate blockchain innovation and ecosystem development in Europe, drawing on Europe’s strengths and values, whilst exploiting the scale of the digital single market through interoperable solutions;
  • Support the EU and Member States governments to explore and exploit the potential of blockchain technologies for their own public sector services;
  • Enable citizens and businesses, particularly SMEs, to benefit from the technology’s socioeconomic potential;
  • Raise awareness and provide dedicated training and materials to help build expertise.

The Forum will play an active role in helping Europe to seize new opportunities offered by blockchain, build expertise and show leadership in the field.

The Forum is led by the European Commission – DG CONNECT and supported by the selected contractor, ConsenSys in partnership with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, University of Southampton, Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University, University College London, and other organizations.

As part of its activities, the Forum will be supported by two Working Groups. Therefore, the Forum is issuing a call to potential contributors to participate in the following Working Groups:

“Blockchain Policy and Framework Conditions” Working Group: this Working Group should look particularly into cross-cutting issues in order to establish policy, legal and regulatory conditions needed to promote predictability and legal certainty which are necessary for larger-scale deployment of blockchain applications. The analysis should consider issues ranging from smart contracts, protection of personal data, legal recognition of blockchains, token economics – especially utility tokens. The working group should also discuss issues concerning technological and ecosystem developments, such as interoperability, scalability and sustainability, cybersecurity and energy efficiency;

  • “Use Cases and Transition Scenarios” Working Group: this Working Group will focus on the most promising use cases, particularly with a public sector angle (e.g. identity and government services, possibly including health care, energy or environmental reporting), notably looking at their transformative power and transition scenarios (e.g. legacy systems integration). It should also touch upon use cases in the area of Fintech and financial services, supply chain, creative industries or the nonprofit sector.
  • Working Group contributors will work alongside the appointed contractors and academic partners of the Forum. Working Groups will identify and research existing blockchain initiatives within the EU and in Third Countries, as appropriate, and lessons to be drawn from them, analyse issues from different perspectives and formulate potential areas for action for EU and/or Member States. They should seek to develop consensual views and where appropriate set out different options and opinions.

Group contributors will be selected by the Forum according to the following criteria:

  • EU citizenship or EU resident;
  • Significant experience and expertise in the field of blockchain technology and its applications (e.g. as a researcher, executive, entrepreneur, regulator, etc);
  • Availability to dedicate time to provide substantial input to the Forum at least on a monthly basis (approximately half a day to a full day per month, for up to two years).

Applicants should provide a track record of widely referenced papers and articles, high-profile speaking engagements, and/or contributions to leading academic or industrial organizations. They will be contributing in their personal capacity and they are expected to act independently and not promote specific industry or other interests.

Each group should reflect a diverse mix of genders, nationalities, professions, industry domains, technology expertise.

Please note that the size of the Working Groups will be capped at 25 contributors per Working Group to allow for substantive exchanges. Depending on the specific issues for discussion, additional contributors may be invited to participate, for example where specific experience and expertise (e.g. on case studies) are needed to bring additional viewpoints to the discussions. The Forum will therefore prepare a longer list of contributors for each of the Working Groups.

The Working Groups will be facilitated by the contractors. Please note that all contributor roles are unpaid.

 

How to apply

Please complete the form https://eublockchain.mobilize.io/registrations/groups/20630 with all relevant details by April 9th, 2018. You will receive a reply by the end of April 2018.

Contributors will be appointed at the discretion of the Forum. Selected contributors are expected to respect fair and ethical principles of collaboration (e.g. regarding respect of diverging opinions, confidentiality, and discretion when communicating externally about the Forum’s activities). An effective contribution to the collaborative work is also expected. Exclusion may be envisaged in case contributors do not engage sufficiently in the work or in case of inappropriate behaviour.

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Disclaimer

The EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum is an initiative sponsored by the European Commission, Directorate-General of Communications Networks, Content & Technology. The information and views set out in this platform are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official opinion of the Commission. The Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this platform. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.