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20 May 2018
EU Parliament Touts Blockchain to 'Empower' Businesses and Citizens

Members of the European Parliament believe small businesses could benefit from integrating blockchain technology.

The Industry, Research and Energy committee voted Wednesday to recommend that small businesses look into blockchain payment systems in a move aimed at relieving some of the costs associated with intermediary payment facilitators. In addition, an oral question will be posed to the EU Commission about the technology during a plenary session next month, according to a press release.

The committee specifically suggested non-monetary uses for the technology, specifying data controls, supply chain management, land registries and in democratizing the energy market, according to the release.

Committee member Eva Kaili, who reported on the meeting, said the technology is "cutting-edge," adding:

 

 

"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 ... and we aspire to make EU the global leader in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

According to the release, the members have called on the EU Commission to set regulatory rules for various blockchain use cases that are "innovation-friendly and technology neutral." They have also asked to include funding for emerging blockchain projects in the post-2020 EU long-term budget .

Speaking at CoinDesk's Consensus 2018 conference Monday, Kaili noted that the EU was beginning to encourage blockchain adoption, saying "in the next few years we'll have harmonization, sandboxes and regulation." That being said, she further noted that "It's really difficult to educate every politician on blockchain technology ... And plus we don't have too many scientists within the European Parliament."

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