Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

EU Blockchain 2018

Mariya Gabriel, Member of the EC in charge of Digital Economy and Society, will give a statement on the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. © European Union , 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament

16-05-2018

Applying the “blockchain” model to areas like energy use, supply chains and governance would cut costs for firms and empower citizens, said the Industry Committee.

Blockchain transactions are recorded by multiple users, rather than by paid – and often costly – intermediaries. The model is currently best known for underpinning the functioning of digital currencies, such as Bitcoin.

The committee approved on Wednesday recommendations on how to apply the blockchain model elsewhere, so as to cut intermediation costs for small firms, empower citizens and enable the EU to become a global leader in this field.

It is not all about Bitcoin

Citizens could use blockchains to gain full control of their own data and decide what to share, and small firms and innovative start-ups could use them to cut intermediation costs and ensure that transactions are executed efficiently, the approved text says.

Blockchain – How does it work? 

MEPs advocate applying the blockchain model to areas such as energy consumption, health care, supply chains, transport, finance and the creative industries.

For example, the model could help to:

  • monitor the origin of goods, offering greater certainty that, e.g., diamonds are ethically sourced, clothes are not made in sweatshops and a bottle of champagne comes from Champagne,
  • “democratize” the energy market, by enabling households that produce energy to exchange and consume it without the need to pay an intermediary agency, and
  • create records such as land registries, birth certificates and business licences with less dependence upon lawyers, notaries and government officials.

Getting blockchain rules right

Industry Committee MEPs call on the EU Commission to propose a regulatory approach designed to promote different uses of blockchains and other Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) that is innovation-friendly and technology neutral.

To ensure the sector is competitive, MEPs also ask for the post-2020 EU long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF, currently under negotiation) to include funding for blockchain-based research and projects.

Quote

Rapporteur Eva Kaili (S&D, EL) said: “Today the Industry Committee voted univocally in favour of a forward-looking technology that we expect to change the quality of our life, empower SMEs and improve business models in most industrial sectors. Blockchain is a cutting-edge technology and we aspire to make EU the global leader in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

 Next steps

The non-binding resolution was approved by 52 votes to 1, with 6 abstentions. The Industry Committee also approved an oral question to the Commission to be debated during June plenary.

Background

Blockchain-based transactions create fast, cheap and secure public records and can be also used for many non-financial tasks, such as casting votes in elections or proving that a document existed at a specific time. Blockchains are particularly well suited to situations where it is necessary to know ownership histories.

They also present opportunities in all kinds of public services such as health and welfare payments and, at the frontier of blockchain development, are self-executing contracts paving the way for companies that run themselves without human intervention.

Parliament study: “How blockchain technology could change our lives”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

A bad marriage can be as unhealthy as smoking and drinking

This company is combining video calls with pop-up clinics to help more people get the care they need

Fostering defence innovation through the European Defence Fund

Are we at the edge of anti-vaccination health crisis?

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Fossil fuel support is rising again in a threat to climate change efforts

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Ursula von der Leyen: ‘We must not hold onto yesterday’s economy as we rebuild’

NextGenerationEU: Questions and answers on the Recovery and Resilience Facility

How can you or your organization support the Hour of Pride initiative?

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

How learning in a crisis can build more resilient leadership

Croatian Presidency priorities discussed in the European Parliament

How technology and play can power high-quality learning in schools

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

This New York store is selling Christmas presents for refugees

LGBTQI+ and medicine, in the Land of the Pure

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Environment Committee MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

This is how to future-proof your company, according to McKinsey

Why precision medicine won’t transform healthcare – but governance could

Capital Markets Union: Commission reports on progress achieved ahead of European Council

Trump’s self-centered politics unravels

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

How LA plans to be 1.6°C cooler by 2050

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

Coronavirus: Commission issues guidelines on testing

Guatemala: UN anti-corruption body will continue working, as Constitutional Court blocks Government expulsion

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

New systemic approach needed to tackle global challenges

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs call for more clarity and transparency

Terrorist content online: companies to be given just one hour to remove it

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

David McAllister underlines the need for rapid progress in EU-UK negotiations

Next time you fly, could you be boarding a train instead of a plane?

4 crazy things that are happening in the Arctic right now

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

UN condemns attack on Ebola treatment centre in DR Congo which left doctor dead, two others injured

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

UN spotlights ‘explosive’ obesity rates, hunger in Latin America and Caribbean

Radioactive material ‘a magnet for groups with malicious intent’, warns UN nuclear watchdog chief

End ‘cycle of violence’ in Gaza, UN deputy chief tells forum on Palestine

Why collaboration will be key to creating the workforce of the future

Big oil’s climate pledges will fail without workforce equality

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

Banking on sustainability – what’s next?

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] to cut intermediation costs and ensure that transactions are executed efficiently the committee,” a European Sting report […]

  2. […] to cut intermediation costs and ensure that transactions are executed efficiently the committee,” a European Sting report […]

  3. […] to cut intermediation costs and ensure that transactions are executed efficiently the committee,” a European Sting report […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s