EU Legislators Advance Plan to Fund Blockchain Research

By Stan Higgins

The European Union is moving closer to establishing a dedicated task force focused on digital currencies.

Late last month, the EU Parliament passed its latest budget proposal, which includes language for a working group dedicated to the technology, its uses and risks. An aide for von Weizsäcker’s office told CoinDesk that the task force was included in the passed budget, but that now it is subject to future debate and approval between the parliament and the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch.

“Nothing is finalised yet,” the aide added.

The task force was first proposed by European Parliament member (MEP) Jakob von Weizsäcker in February. The group, according to its backers in the EU Parliament, will develop a regulatory framework for the economic bloc.

In a recent note to legislators, von Weizsäcker argued that the EU Parliament has an opportunity to boost its institutional knowledge of the tech, while at the same time providing a means to explore applications for government in particular.

He wrote:

"This pilot project aims at creating a Task Force, staffed with regulatory and technical experts, in order to build up technical expertise, regulators capacity and develop use cases, especially for governmental applications, in the field of distributed ledger technology (DLT) as proposed in the Resolution of the European Parliament on virtual currencies.”

While subject to change, the task force could be funded by as much as €1m should the proposal be included in the final budget.

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