In May 2017, as part of the revision of the digital single market, the Commission realized that technologies were inspired by the blockchain or by enormous potential for administrations, businesses and society in general. As a result, on April 10, 2018, 21 of the Member States and Norway entered into a partnership to pool their skills and integrate the blockchain into future projects. What is the blockchain? How will this new technology be integrated into the European challenges of the Digital Single Market? The blockchain is "a technology of storage and transmission of information, transparent, secure, and without central control organ" (source: https://blockchainfrance.net/discover-blockchain/c-est-what- the -blockchain/ ).
This new technology, used today by cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.), is very promising: it constitutes the future coming databases a permanent and verifiable recording while the user is completely decentralized and regulated. In addition to the financial field, their applications are multiple: development of registers, data certification, guarantee of traceability of marketed products, etc. It would also enable the development of new business models of interactions based on peer-to-peer exchanges without the use of centralized platforms or intermediaries. The blockchain then appears as revolutionary and would be likely to make great improvements in digital services, it would be integrated (source: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-countries-join-blockchain-partnership )
To implement it, on 10 April 2018, 21 Member States and Norway ( https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-countries-join-blockchain-partnership ) signed a declaration for the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). The purpose of this collaboration is to establish the European Service Infrastructure with the Blockchain (EBSI), which will support future cross-border digital public services according to the highest standards of security and confidentiality. By the end of 2018, the partnership will have planned a set of cross-border digital public service use cases that can be deployed via the EBSI as well as a governance model describing how the EBSI is to be managed. To date, the EU has allocated € 83 million for blockchain-related projects and up to € 340 million could be committed between 2018 and 2020 (source: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/blockchain-technologies ). Ultimately, the EU wants the EBSI to become a trusted global benchmark for blockchain infrastructure.
To achieve this goal, the European Commission also created the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018. The purpose of these two programs is to identify key initiatives, monitor the situation and stimulate joint action. The same goes for the European Department of DG-Connect (Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology), which launched the European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prize on Blockchains for Social Good, with a budget 5 million euros. This award is an excellent incentive to attract developers and citizens interested in this innovative subject (source: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/blockchain-technologies ).
The first set up of the ESBI and the deployment of the first set of cross-border digital public services are expected by the beginning of 2019.