Launched this week by leading blockchain projects Ripple, NEM, Cardano and Fetch.AI, the Blockchain For Europe association aims to become the first European representative body to champion nascent decentralized technologies on the continent.
The creation of this new industry group coincides with other significant developments in Europe.
In recent weeks news broke of the approval of the world’s first Bitcoin ETP which will be released by Switzerland’s Amun AG and Six exchange. This marks the first step towards regulated channels being formed for institutional investment into cryptocurrencies, and further cements the Swiss as progressive leaders within the space.
While Europe has remained a global blockchain hub and hotbed for startups utlizing DLT, this move to form Blockchain For Europe is significant.
The founding members of the organisation are some of the most successful and influential innovators from within the cryptocurrency space. Ripple have this week taken the position of being the second-largest cryptocurrency by marketcap from Ethereum. This shift also comes as BFE founding member, NEM, announces partnerships with Singaporean venture platform firm, iFashion Group and IoT startup, Ethyl.
The new organisation held the Blockchain For Europe Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27th November, which according to their website aimed to “bring together stakeholders from across Europe and beyond to discuss the future of Blockchain technology in various European sectors.”
The summit addressed key areas for the future of digital currencies and blockchain including Governance and Blockchains, Supply Chains, Digital Health, Token Economies and Digital Identity.
Speaking of their involvement with BFE at the summit, Ripple’s Head of Regulatory Regulations, Dan Morgan, stated that:
“Ripple is delighted to be a founding member of Blockchain for Europe. This is a critical time for policymakers in Europe as they seek to develop the right regulatory framework to capture the benefits of both digital assets and blockchain technology.”
The work of the BFE will be predominantly to provide insights to European regulators regarding the potential applications and benefits of blockchain technology. The timing of the creation of this body is prudent considering recent moves within the EU to consider how to move forward with regulating cryptocurrencies.
Finance ministers from the EU’s 28 member states met on the 7th and 8th of September to discuss the “opportunties and risks involved, and also a possible regulation of this global phenomenon.”
Following the meeting it was reported that conclusive plans for how to deal with cryptocurrencies in a unified way not been reached.
There is an imminent sense that the introduction of European regulation is now only a matter of time, and for the Blockchain For Europe initiative this signifies a crucial phase of building a presence within the European regulatory structure.