Tuesday, June 18, 2024

EU goes big on blockchain with new European Digital Infrastructure Consortium

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The European Union has officially launched the European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC), a new body that will drive blockchain policy to move Europe’s “digital decade” forward.

The EDIC will likely be operational by the end of 2024 and will have the power to drive blockchain policy and compete with similar Chinese and Latin American efforts. While its predecessor, the EBSI, was largely driven by the European Commission, the EDIC will be guided and funded by member states with a rotating presidency every six months.

Nena Dokuzov, head of the blockchain group in Slovenia’s Ministry of Economy, Tourism, and Sport, is one of the key figures in the effort.

“This is the real contribution: blockchain will be recognized, it will be visible, and people will know there is an institution there to take care of blockchain’s broader application,” she told DLNews.

The project brings some much-needed credibility to a technology that has been hindered by its association with ‘cryptocurrencies,’ keeping both the public and policymakers from focusing on its revolutionary potential.

Public applications first, and private ones will come later

For a start, the EU’s blockchain will integrate public apps that deal with wallets, digital identities, storing licenses, and tracking and tracing goods in supply chains. Anyone who has attended Dr. Craig Wright’s The Bitcoin Masterclasses will be well aware of these blockchain applications and that the technology was designed to enable them.

According to sources close to the project, private applications will be able to build on the EU blockchain later. This suggests that it is a private, permissioned blockchain rather than a public, permissionless one (see the pros and cons of both here). That said, it’s also rumored that there are behind-the-scenes talks with other jurisdictions about integration. One such example is sharing academic credentials with Canadian authorities.

Is the EU blockchain technically capable of fulfilling its goals?

While details about the EU’s blockchain ambitions are well known and only bolstered by the launch of the EDIC, little is known about the technological capabilities of the blockchain it is building on.

Such ambitious goals will require blockchains capable of hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions and billions, of transactions per second. As of today, only the original Bitcoin, BSV blockchain, has demonstrated that it can process such transaction volumes.

There are also remaining questions about whether the EU and other jurisdictions can scale their blockchains to the levels required without running into the ever-growing patent portfolio of blockchain companies like nChainDr. Craig Wright heading up research at the firm.

The answers to these technical and legal questions will be revealed in time, but for now, it’s clear that governments are embracing blockchain technology in a big way. With China’s Blockchain-based Service Network, Latin America’s Lacchain, and now the EU’s EDIC, blockchain technology will play a pivotal role in the future. Satohi’s vision is finally being realized.

Will all blockchains converge into one?

In the estimation of many experts, all blockchains will converge into one, just as the multiple networks and walled gardens in the early days of the internet did. The ongoing debate on whether we’ll live in a multi-chain world or one in which one protocol dominates rages on, and only time will tell who is right.

Until then, CoinGeek will continue to monitor and report on the exciting experiments and news about blockchain utility happening all over the world. Subscribe to stay abreast of the latest events!

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