The European Union (EU) has announced that it will host an online Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on June 18, 2018, at 6 p.m. CEST. The event, organized and hosted by the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum of the EU, will last for 90 minutes and cover blockchain technologies with in-depth explanations, interactive discussions with panelists and public questions answered live.
The European Blockchain Observatory and Forum was created as a European Parliament pilot project with a mission to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU and establish Europe as a global leader in the field. The Blockchain Observatory and Forum is currently operating under the European Commission (EC)’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). Their partners include ConsenSys AG (general contractor), the University of Southampton, the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University, University College London and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
The event will be streamed live on YouTube. Viewers are invited to comment and ask questions via Twitter. To participate, viewers should include both #AMAblockchain and @EUBlockchain in a tweet. For example, “What is the official position of the EU on cryptocurrencies #AMAblockchain @EUBlockchain?” Selected tweets will be addressed and answered live.
“Technologies like blockchain can help reduce costs while increasing trust, traceability and security,” said Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market, in a February 2018 EU press release announcing the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum.
“They have huge potential for making social and economic transactions more secure online by guarding against an attack and removing the need for any middleman. We want to build on Europe's substantial talent base and excellent startups to become a leading world region that will develop and invest in the rollout of blockchain.”
The announcement emphasizes that the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum will play an active role in helping Europe to seize new opportunities offered by blockchain technology, build expertise and show leadership in the field, and promote an open forum for blockchain technologists, innovators, citizens, industry stakeholders, public authorities and regulators.
“I see blockchain as a game changer and I want Europe to be at the forefront of its development,” said Mariya Gabriel, commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. “We need to establish the right enabling environment — a Digital Single Market for blockchain so that all citizens can benefit, instead of a patchwork of initiatives. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is an important step in that direction.”
The announcement states that the Blockchain Observatory and Forum is intended to support the EC's work on FinTech, which is considered a priority of the EC and is expected to 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.
“Among the many technologies that are driving digital innovation, blockchain has the potential to be truly transformative for financial services and markets,” said 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.”
TNW notes that the Blockchain Observatory and Forum has been hosting a series of workshops and panel discussions to figure out the best ways to approach this fledgling technology in the age of the GDPR. The recordings are online on YouTube.