Applications and Use Cases

EU Building Out Blockchain Strategy for Cross-Border Services

October 01, 2021

Blockchain was at the forefront last week as the European Union devoted an entire week to the technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Blockchain week, hosted in Slovenia, was meant to showcase how blockchain and AI may be used to facilitate the EU's digital transition as well as the European Green deal.

The focus on technology came after an announcement that the EU would invest in blockchain, data infrastructure and high-performance computing as part of its multi-billion-euro plans to develop technology across its member states.

The EU has selected a team of seven companies to design and develop the next generation of its European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). The move is part of a larger project that will leverage blockchain technology to improve standards for cross-border services relating to governments, businesses and individuals throughout the EU.

The project is largely focused on improving scalability, privacy and regulatory infrastructure. The EBSI plans to use blockchain to enable public administrations to protect against fraud, allow citizens to take full control of their personal data and help businesses cut back on administrative costs.

One of the blockchain companies working on the project is UK startup company iov42, which specializes in creating a chain of transactional proof to improve both security and traceability.

“Our philosophy is what we call Proof of Authority,” said Dominic von Trotha Taylor, CEO of iov42. “We have a permission blockchain and at every stage of the process, we seek to use the abstraction of identity on our platform to be able to effectively track the identity of people that own organizations that are approving various stages all the way through.”

iov42's technology has already been used to help fight the illegal timber trade. The company partnered with the NGO Preferred by Nature organization in June on a service called Timber Chain. It is being used to enable stakeholders across the timber supply chain to improve efficiency and transparency using blockchain. The technology also enables users to set up industry-related or geographic zones, which could be used for regulatory purposes throughout the EU.

“The idea is conceptually that between these zones that we can set up with the different rules in each," said von Trotha Taylor. "You can then create a bridge through which there's a set of rules around the gatekeeper about what data can transfer.I think we're not aware of anyone else doing that in order to recognize the difficulties between governments."

Edited by Luke Bellos



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