And announces its first European blockchain workshop
Brussels, May 18, 2018 – The European Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which launched in February, is a European initiative to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU and so help cement Europe’s position as a global leader in this transformative new technology.
Created as a European Parliament pilot project, the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is being run under the aegis of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). Partners include ConsenSys (general contractor), the University of Southampton, the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University, University College London, and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences.
Today the Observatory and Forum is pleased to announce progress on a number of its initial milestones. Chief among these is the formation of two Working Groups that will explore critical themes in blockchain in Europe, as well as the announcement of its first European blockchain workshop.
The Observatory and Forum’s Working Groups will identify and research existing blockchain initiatives within the EU and in other countries, monitor and discuss technical developments and challenges, look at the legal and regulatory conditions in order offer more legal certainty, seeking to draw lessons and formulate potential areas for action at European level.
- The Blockchain Policy and Framework Conditions Working Group will look at cross-technology and cross-industry issues to define the policy, legal and regulatory conditions needed to promote the regulatory and legal predictability necessary for larger-scale deployment of blockchain applications. This analysis will consider issues ranging from smart contracts and protection of personal data to legal recognition of blockchains and token economics. The Working Group will also examine issues around technology and ecosystem development, including interoperability, scalability, sustainability, cybersecurity and energy efficiency.
- The Use Cases and Transition Scenarios Working Group will focus on the most promising transformative blockchain use cases with an emphasis on public sector applications such as identity and government services, health care, energy and environmental reporting. The Working Group will also explore use cases in other sectors, including Fintech and financial services, supply chain, creative industries or the nonprofit sector, and will consider transition scenarios, for example legacy systems integration.
Each Working Group consists of 30 members chosen from over 350 applications received by the Observatory and Forum during the open call that took place between March 15 and April 9, 2018. The selection process focused on expertise as well as diversity of background and experience. The final list, available in the appendix below, consists of thought leaders from the corporate world, blockchain entrepreneurs, researchers and public authorities, representing 28 nationalities. Industries represented include technology, financial services, academia as well as legal, energy, media and telecommunications.
Inaugural theme: Blockchain innovation in Europe
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is also tasked with carrying out analysis and reporting on a wide range of important blockchain themes based on input from its Working Groups and other stakeholders.
In its inaugural theme, “Blockchain innovation in Europe”, the Observatory and Forum looks to examine the current state of blockchain development in the EU through original research and interviews with practitioners, academics and other experts, cataloguing Europe’s strengths as well as challenges in terms of developing a vibrant blockchain ecosystem and speeding up uptake of the technology.
This theme will be the subject of the Observatory and Forum’s first Workshop, which will be held in Vienna on May 22. Uniting members of the Working Group with select stakeholders, the workshop will feature in-depth discussion of the topic. It will also inform the Observatory and Forum’s first thematic paper, which will be published a few weeks after the event.
The workshop is by invitation only. Video extracts and reports will be made available after the event.
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum also has a goal to create an attractive forum where all of Europe’s blockchain stakeholders, from thought leaders and entrepreneurs to early adopters and the general public, can share experience, debate issues, and reflect on the future of this new technology.
Here too the Observatory and Forum has made significant progress in its first few months.
Its online public discussion forum is already up and running. Accessible at eublockchain.mobilize.io it is open to all individuals who want to join the Observatory and Forum’s blockchain conversation.
Concurrent with the May 22 Workshop, the Observatory and Forum will also be launching an updated version of its website at eublockchainforum.eu.
This website will include the release of the initial, “genesis” version of the EU Blockchain Map. Relying on thought leader and community input, the map will provide an easy-to-digest, visual, and data-driven survey of European blockchain activity, and will be continuously updated as data is received and validated.
Appendix: List of Working Group members
“Blockchain Policy and Framework Conditions” Working Group
The members are:
- Anastasios Antoniou (Antoniou McCollum & Co, Partner)
- Dr. Roman Beck (European Blockchain Center, Professor)
- Dr. Stefan Beyer (S2 Grupo, Head of R&D)
- Jamie Burke (Outlier Ventures, Founder & CEO)
- Cristina Cobos (Legal Counsel & Professor at IE Business school )
- Savino Damico (Intesa Sanpaolo, Head of Fintech Ecosystem Monitoring)
- Dr. Primavera De Filippi (Permanent research at CERSA/CNRS; Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard)
- Julio Faura (Banco Santander, Head of Blockchain)
- Nadia Filali (Caisse des Dépôts, Head of blockchain)
- Dr. Michèle Finck (Senior Research Fellow – Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and Lecturer in EU Law, Keble College, University of Oxford)
- Janis Graubins (Notakey, Co-Founder)
- Dr. Dominique Guegan (University Pantheon-Sorbonne, Professor)
- Marta Ienco (GSMA, Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Identity)
- Luukas Ilves (Lisbon Council, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow)
- Christoph Jentzsch (Slock.it, Founder)
- Dr.hab Iwona Karasek (Jagiellonian University, Associate Professor of Law)
- Ad Kroft (Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Program manager)
- Arnaud Le Hors (IBM, Senior Technical Staff Member)
- Leila Nassiri Jamet (Government Blockchain Association, VP Europe)
- Marina Niforos (Visiting Faculty HEC, Blockchain Advisor to IFC/WBG)
- Nejc Novak (Novak Law, Founder)
- Isabella Porchia (Latham & Watkins, Counsel)
- Dr. Andrea Renda (CEPS, Senior Research Fellow)
- Dr. Philipp Sandner (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Head of Blockchain Center)
- Javier Sebastián (BBVA research, Principal Economist Digital Regulation and Trends)
- Dr. Nina-Luisa Siedler (DWF, Partner)
- Ivona Skultetyova (Tilburg University, Lecturer/Researcher)
- Thibault Verbiest (DS Avocats, Partner)
- Gilbert Verdian (Quant Network AG, CEO)
- Jean-Luc Verhelst (Author of Bitcoin, the Blockchain and Beyond)
“Use Cases and Transition Scenarios” Working Group
- Andrius Adamonis (Bank of Lithuania, Blockchain Project Manager )
- Irina Albita (FilmChain, Co-founder)
- Nicolas Bacca (Ledger, CTO)
- Anja Bedford (Deutsche Bank, GTB Head of Blockchain)
- Diana Biggs (HSBC, Head of Digital innovation)
- Oliver Bussmann (Crypto Valley Association, President)
- Tamás Chlepkó (Tax & Customs Administration of Hungary, Senior Project Manager)
- Daniel Du Seuil (Flemish Government, Program manager)
- Goncalo Fernandes (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications, Head of IoT and Blockchain)
- Dr. Alexander Grech (Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning, Director)
- Bo Hembæk Svensson (Blockchain Advisor)
- Dr. Stefan Junestrand (Grupo Tecma Red, CEO)
- Clément Lesaege (Kleros, CTO)
- Manuel Machado (Worldline, Global Blockchain Solutions Manager)
- Johan Mastenbroek (Ledger Leopard BV, Advisor)
- Dr. Julie Maupin (IOTA Foundation, Director of Social Impact & Public Regulatory Affairs)
- Martin Pospěch (Smart Contract Labs, Founder)
- Simone Ravaioli (Digitary, Business Development Executive)
- Sandra Ro (UWINCorp, Co-founder)
- Dr. Plamen Russev (Webit.Foundation, Founder & Executive Chairman)
- Ville Sointu (Nordea Bank, Head of DLT and Blockchain)
- David Suomalainen (Land Registry Sweden, Legal advisor)
- Jolanda Ter Maten (TerMaten Business Consultancy, Blockchain Trainer & Consultant)
- Dr. Hitesh Tewari (Trinity College Dublin, Assistant Professor)
- Nikica Tomasic (CRIB Consulting, CEO & Co-Founder)
- Marcello Topa (Citi, Director, EMEA Market Policy & Strategy)
- Dr. Konstantinos Votis (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Information Technologies Institute, Senior Researcher)
- John Whelan (Santander, Blockchain Lab Director)
- Vlad Zamfir (Ethereum, Researcher and Blockchain Architect)
Working Group contributors are expected to:
- Contribute to the research of the Observatory and Forum with expert analyses and viewpoints
- Contribute to the EU Blockchain Map of initiatives with case studies
- Participate in selected thematic workshops, that will take place across Europe
- Review, comment and enrich the thematic reports that will be delivered by the Observatory and Forum over the next 2 years
- Engage with the Observatory and Forum on an ongoing basis, through its online platform
The Working Groups will be facilitated by ConsenSys and other contractors to the Observatory and Forum. Please note that all contributor roles are unpaid.
Besides Working Group members, the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum will be working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders including government agencies, academic partners, national associations, and blockchain experts on all relevant topics.