The European Commission has said that it is actively monitoring blockchain and DLT developments, stating that its almost limitless potential use cases make it both ‘very promising and challenging.’

In a statement published on 7th February by European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip, he explained to members of the European Parliament that support for the blockchain and DLT was ‘going to increase in the coming months.’

Last year, the European Parliament approved a task force to further study the distributed ledger technology. Jakob von Weizsäcker who drafted the proposal for the task force stated that the establishment of it was to actively monitor the evolution of the technology and to make specific regulations when the need arose.

Ansip explained to the European Parliament that the Commission is considering pilot projects to adopt ‘decentralized innovation ecosystems’ while facilitating interactions between ‘consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations.’

He said:

The Commission is already supporting DLT-enabled projects (DECODE, D-Cent, MyHealth MyData). Support activities are going to increase in the coming months. A study will be launched to investigate how DLT can help in reshaping public services and preparing for EU specific DLT actions to address relevant EU challenges.

He concluded by saying that the Commission will be working with the European Parliament in the future through a series of workshops designed to look at blockchain developments and use case applications.

EU Blockchain Development

This news further adds to the European Commission’s stance of making European FinTech and blockchain firms world leaders in the field.

Previous comments from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced earlier this month that regulatory action for blockchain technology is ‘premature’ at this stage.

Yet, through regulators such as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, which works by providing businesses with the regulations they need to abide by, it is somewhat easier for FinTech startups to get their businesses off the ground in a difficult environment.

Strict Rules on Bitcoin

However, when it comes to bitcoin, the EU Commission has a somewhat stricter stance regarding the currency.

So much so, that the European Parliament released a report in January stating that it will be focusing on digital currencies such as bitcoin to tackle anti-money laundering issues in 2017.

One can understand considering the negative press bitcoin has received in the past, but it’s certainly a step forward for the digital currency and the Commission’s keenness to change how the currency is used.

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