EU taps banks for new blockchain initiative

EU taps banks for new blockchain initiative

Several banks, including BBVA, have been invited to join a new European Union platform to promote the use of blockchain technology.

On Tuesday, BBVA was one of a host of representatives from the public and private sectors to take part in a Brussels-based roundtable on "uniting EU industries to lead blockchain technologies".

EC commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel and the director-general for communications networks, content and technology, Roberto Viola attended the event, which was designed to rally industry leaders around a strategy to boost innovation and exploitation of blockchain technology in the EU.

The EU argues that blockchain will transform digital services in a host of industries, including financial services. The organisation says that it is well placed to seize the opportunity, taking advantage of its digital single market of over 500 citizens, as well as financial clout, cutting-edge research and the ability to put in place a robust regulatory framework.

But this requires close cooperation between the public and private sectors, hence the roundtable and subsequent creation of an 'International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications', which is set to come into existence at the beginning of next year.

BBVA says that it is one of five banks invited to join the effort from the off, helping to promote interoperability between technologies, develop sector-specific guidelines and provide information for the implementation of Europe's blockchain strategy.

Carlos Kuchkovsky, head of research and development, New Digital Business, at BBVA, which has been involved in a host of blockchain projects over the last few years, represented the Spanish bank at the roundtable.

It is "essential to establish a system of governance that aligns the different participating industries and their objectives," he says, adding that "we fully support this initiative and are ready to get to work".

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