The European Commission is seriously looking at the potential of blockchain and distributed ledgers technologies, that can change the way organisations and internet users share and exchange data, or value, in many ICT domains and industries. Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies, the technology is still in a maturation phase, and there is a need for more innovation, research, development, piloting and proof of concepts in order to facilitate uptake.
Different topics of the Horizon 2020 Work Program 2018-2020 refer to blockchain, distributed ledgers, or disruptive technologies. The European Commission organised this meetup in Brussels, on 19 December 2017, an information day to highlight and explain these different topics, where participants had the opportunity to ask questions.
The agenda can be found on the following news item: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/information-day-horzizon-2020-blockchain-and-distributed-ledger-technologies
One of the outcomes of the policy workshop on blockchain standardisation which was organised on 12-13 September 2017 (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/blockchain-and-distributed-ledger-technology-policy-and-standardisation-workshop) was the need to explore European specificities regarding blockchain standardisation, and to write a white paper, which would reflect the views of European stakeholders.
CEN-CENELEC has now established a Focus Group on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (https://www.cencenelec.eu/news/articles/Pages/AR-2017-012.aspx). They have offered to continue the coordination of the work initiated by the Commission in the frame of that group, and to facilitate the writing of the white paper.
For the drafting process CEN-CENELEC are looking into the possibility to use a collaborative tool in order to work according to a flexible and "easy to contribute" process. The goal is to finalize a white paper to be submitted to the next ISO/TC 307 meeting in London (14-18 May 2018). ETSI will organise a specific workshop on blockchain which will take place during their Security Week (11-15 June 2018). Both organisations are invited to coordinate their efforts in order to shape a consistent EU approach to blockchain/DLT standardisation.
For your information, the European Commission will launch the EU Observatory and Forum early next year, and will organise a major conference on blockchain with the Parliament on April 10, 2018 [date to be confirmed].
More information will follow.