The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), has recently published an in-depth analysis on Blockchain technology. We contributed to this report, co-authored with Philip Boucher and Mihalis Kritikos from STOA.

Beyond the earlier controversies around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, what has recently come to the foreground is the potential of its underlying protocol, Blockchain, in many other areas. The report provides an accessible entry point for those curious about Blockchain and interested in knowing more about the opportunities and challenges ahead. In doing so, the aim is to stimulate reflection and discussion of this complex, early-stage and fast-moving technology.

The report starts with an introduction to how Blockchain technology works. The subsequent sections each present two-page briefings about how it could be deployed in eight areas:
• cryptocurrencies
• digital content
• patents
• e-voting
• smart contracts
• supply chains
• public services
• and decentralised autonomous organisations.

For each of these, an explanation is given of how the technology could be concretely developed in that particular area, the possible impacts and developments it might have, and what potential policy issues are to be anticipated. Finally, a concluding section presents some overall remarks and potential responses to Blockchain development.

New EU Policy Lab project on Blockchain for Industrial Transformation

The EU Policy Lab will continue to work on Blockchain during 2017. We will run the project #Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations for the Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW). We will look into.existing, emerging and potential applications based on Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) for European industry with a forward looking perspective. More updates are coming up very soon in this blog!

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