Italy officially enters the blockchain revolution. In a historic move, Italy has just joined the European Blockchain Partnership, a multi-million dollar effort to create an international blockchain. Here’s how blockchain can benefit Europe, the second-biggest economy in the world, and the diverse economies within it.
European Blockchain Partnership
While U.S. corporations rush to patent blockchain, European countries are also heavily investing in blockchain technology. Specifically, the European Commission, the executive brand of the European Union (EU), launched the European Blockchain Partnership in April 2018.
Taking a cue from financial services, which is already implementing blockchain technology to facilitate transactions worldwide, the European Blockchain Partnership is moving a variety of public services onto the distributed ledger.
A secure and immutable record of transactions and interactions that one can access anywhere is advantageous for international businesses. Today, an international economic zone that now includes Italy is implementing it, too.
Blockchain to Create a Single Market
The European Blockchain Partnership is part of a larger EU initiative to create a “Digital Single Market.” This means simplifying regulations so that all 28 EU members can function as one economy.
In other words, it facilitates free trade online, whether you’re an individual hoping to ship something internationally or a business looking to expand beyond your home country.
The European Commission predicts that creating a Digital Single Market could create an additional €415 billion annually. It could also make goods less expensive and stimulate job growth.
Moving operations onto the blockchain would facilitate the Digital Single Market because it would allow for the creation of smart contracts. In other words, companies and nations could comply and benefit from EU regulations through digital contracts with preset conditions that automatically enforce themselves.
Health and Privacy on the European Blockchain
In addition to fostering economic growth, a European Blockchain could enforce data and health rights.
From 2017 to 2019, the EU is spending €5 million on DECODE, an experimental blockchain platform. DECODE aims to give Europeans more control over their data through a blockchain for home rentals and another that functions as a data storage place. Both facets of DECODE, out of Amsterdam and Barcelona, respectively, are in the early stages.
MyHealthMyData is the second European blockchain project the EU is funding. This is a blockchain for safely storing all medical data. Having medical data accessible yet safely stored on a blockchain would facilitate medical research and patient treatment. The EU is spending a little under €4 million on this project, which will last through 2019.
Italy Officially Enters The Blockchain Revolution
Italy just became the latest country to join the European Blockchain Partnership. As of today, Italy will be one of the 26 European countries to benefit from the EU’s €300 million blockchain initiative. Other countries include Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, and the UK.
“Tomorrow, Minister Luigi Di Maio will sign the European partnership for the development of new blockchain projects in Brussels,” explains parliamentary minister Mirella Liuzzi. Not only is Italy venturing into blockchain, but the nation is also investigating how it can benefit from artificial intelligence.
Italy: the Latest Country to Join the European Blockchain
Today, European people have some of the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption. Similarly, 26 of the 28 countries in the European Union are now investigating blockchain. Over the next few years, the EU will spend $3oo million to create a Digital Single Market on the blockchain. Italy officially enters the blockchain revolution. As such, they just became the latest country to join that initiative. As time passes, we will see if, in addition to blockchain, they add to the list of cryptocurrency friendly cities.
Other countries are also moving complex bureaucratic processes onto the blockchain. For instance, China is using blockchain to build a second capital city.