Many blockchain enthusiasts are concerned that governments may over-regulate blockchain solutions and stifle innovation and adoption. However, some countries seem to embrace blockchain. People see the value distributed ledgers can bring in terms of transparency, efficiency, and accountability. And they want to lead the path of blockchain innovation and adoption.
Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Spain, have signed a formal agreement to embrace and coordinate blockchain solutions and innovations. The agreement, called “Southern European Countries Ministerial Declaration on Distributed Ledger Technologies” was signed in Brussels, Belgium, on 4th of December, 2018.
The Southern European Countries agree that Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), along with other emerging technologies like 5G, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things are critical areas of innovation and research, to gain a competitive advantage.
The agreement says: “We believe that Distributed Ledger Technologies, along with other emerging technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things could be a strong contributor that will help Southern European countries transform the way that we experience as well as to expand their digital ecosystem including Research & Development and innovation”
The agreement goes as far as calling “a potential game-changer,” in the areas of supply chain management, transportation, customs, land registry, healthcare, and more.
“As a technology based on trust, we see Distributed Ledger Technologies as being a potential game changer using – inter alia smart contracts in areas such as certifying product origin, education, transport, mobility, shipping, land registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare amongst others to transform the way that such services are delivered. This can result not only in the enhancement of e-government services but also increased transparency and reduced administrative burdens, better customs collection and better access to public information”, the agreement states.
It is obvious that Southern European Countries see the value of DLT in both streamlining e-government services, and also increase transparency and government efficiency.
It is also noteworthy that, 5 of those 7 Southern European Countries, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and Spain, are also experiencing significant economic and political problems. And those problems are at least partially because of government inefficiencies and corruption.
Could DLT help to solve the economic and political crisis these countries experience?
Southern Economic countries seem to think so.
The report also mentions, how DLT can help to improve the privacy of EU citizens.
The agreement states that “the promotion of privacy through blockchain enhanced solutions could be a way forward, empowering citizens to be in control of their own personal data.”
For example, Google may be facing lawsuits for tracking online actions of millions of European citizens, breaching GDPR regulations.
For blockchain advocates, 7 European Countries accepting and embracing Distributed Ledger Technologies as a way to improve their economies, increase the efficiency of inter-government cooperations, and privacy of their citizens, is definitely good news.