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Launch of EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The European Commission recently announced the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. 

It was originally created as a European Parliament pilot project to support the Commission's Fintech work. The Commission explains that Fintech is a policy priority since it can and will play a major role in achieving the objectives related to the development of the single market, Banking Union, the Capital Markets Union and retail financial services.

It says that the Blockchain Observatory and Forum will highlight key developments of blockchain technology, promote European actors and reinforce European engagement with multiple stakeholders involved in blockchain activities.

Blockchain technologies, which store blocks of information that are distributed across the network, are seen as a major breakthrough, as they bring about high levels of traceability and security in economic transactions online. They are expected to impact digital services and transform business models in a wide range of areas, such as healthcare, insurance, finance, energy, logistics, intellectual property rights management or government services.

The European Commission has been funding blockchain projects through the European Union's research programmes FP7 and Horizon 2020 since 2013. Up to 2020 it will fund projects that could draw on blockchain technologies for up to €340 million.

“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets,” explained Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. “The Blockchain Observatory and Forum will monitor developments and also inform our policy making.”

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