The Strategist

The EU will allocate millions to finance the blockchain technology

11/01/2017 - 11:30

The European Commission will allocate EU 30 billion euro for development of technology projects, including in the field of blockсhain, according to the Commission’s website.

The funding will be provided through the Horizon 2020 program, with a total investment of EU 77 billion. Of these, 5 million will be sent to companies engaged in the blockchain industry. The goal of the new round of financing will to support companies dealing with migration, security, climate, clean energy and the digital economy, as well as initiatives aimed at developing the market.

Clean energy is the main priority of the project. This sector will receive EU 3.3 billion euros. In addition, the representative of the Commission Carlos Moedas emphasized the blockchain’s role in the program: "Artificial intelligence, genetics, blockchain - this knowledge underlies today's most promising and progressive innovations. Europe, as a world leader in science and technology, will play an important role in the development of innovation." Information on how much funding will be provided to blockchain start-ups or which exactly projects will receive the money, is not reported.

Earlier it became known that four amendments to finance various projects related to blockchain technology, can be added to the EU budget for 2018.

In September, the European Commission documents proposed to use blockchain-based systems as a payment technology for a project of free Wi-Fi access throughout the EU - "Wi-Fi4EU". Also, there are plans to finance two groups working on developing the blockchain technology.

In fact, there are two amendments, which relate to the idea of using blockade as part of the "Wi-Fi4EU" project. One of them was submitted by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group and the Parliamentary Committee for Industry, Research and Energy. The party proposed allocating EU 10 million for the initiative, the committee limited the proposal to 1 million.

The aim of the project is to test "feasibility and demonstrate practicality of using blockchain technology in the interaction of institutions and citizens of the European Union". The document on the budget says:

"The project will be aimed at supporting "Wi-Fi4EU" voucher scheme by blockchain technology. This will allow transparent and monitored payment for the services of private companies that will build the "Wi-Fi4EU" infrastructure. In addition, it will provide citizens with transaction verification tools registered in the database. Everything will be based on open source software. Among other things, we expect cooperation in the provision of blockchain services (also known as government coins) with member countries."

The project "Wi-Fi4EU" was presented in May with a budget of EU 120 million. Its goal is to organize free Wi-Fi throughout the EU for three years. The budget for 2018 includes a proposal to use distributed registry technology as part of the EU's humanitarian effort to help companies and groups that deal with "migrants and displaced populations". EU 1 million will be sent to companies that develop platforms for distributed databases. An additional EU 1 million will be received by the Horizontal Task Force, which will study how the European Parliament can effectively use the technology of distributed registries.