Belgium, gearing up for its EU Council Presidency in 2024 has unfolded its plans to fast-track the establishment of a robust European blockchain infrastructure.
The primary objective involves ensuring the secure storage of essential documents such as driving licenses and property titles.
Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Digitisation, revealed in an interview that the development of a public blockchain for pan-European use stands as one of the nation’s key priorities during its presidency.
This move will align with three additional focal points, addressing artificial intelligence, online anonymity, and fostering digital economy skills.
To achieve this, Michel proposes a revival of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project.
Initially launched in 2018 by the European Commission in collaboration with the European Blockchain Partnership, the project encompasses EU member states and partners like Norway and Liechtenstein.
The rebranded initiative, Europeum, envisions utilisation in public administration tasks.
It will verify driver’s licenses and other documents across the EU.
The EU also recently introduced an EU Digital Identity Wallet, though it is unclear whether these two issues are related.
Michel emphasises the project’s potential contribution to the digital euro infrastructure.
Crucially, Michel advocates for a public blockchain developed by EU member states, emphasising benefits in terms of security, transparency, and privacy.
According to him, leveraging blockchain technology can empower citizens by returning control of their data.
Already, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Romania have committed to the Europeum plan, with Belgium slated to host the project’s headquarters.
As regulatory frameworks surrounding crypto and blockchain undergo consolidation, November witnessed 47 national governments pledging to swiftly integrate the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) into their domestic legal systems.
Closer to home, Singapore has also pledged to implement this same framework, and has actively participated in its development.
This will help facilitate the automatic exchange of tax relevant information on crypto-assets.
The CARF framework will function as an international standard facilitating the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.