The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, is launching a new blockchain association next year and major banks are already on board.
Spanish banking giant BBVA announced Tuesday that it and four other banks have joined the EC’s planned International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA), which could be a legal entity as early as first quarter of 2019. While the remaining banks were not named in official announcements, some sources say Santander is also one of the group.
The initiative was announced at a recent EU blockchain roundtable event called “Bringing industries together for Europe to lead in blockchain technologies,” held on Nov. 20 in Brussels, Belgium.
The new association will have representatives from both public and private sectors with an aim to “garner support from private blockchain and [distributed ledger technology] experts to contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies,” the BBVA said.
The association is aimed to develop guidelines and protocols for the blockchain industry, and promote the EU’s blockchain standards internationally. It will further provide information for the implementation of Europe’s blockchain strategy.
Carlos Kuchkovsky, BBVA’s head of research & development for new digital business, said that the association could have an important role to play in terms of “establishing blockchain best practice and standards and at avoiding fragmentation on a European level.”
Kuchkovsky also believes that the EC initiative will help provide more clarity to the “regulatory uncertainty” that currently surrounds the use of blockchain tech.
“Blockchain is not only a technology, but it engenders new business models creating a tokenized economy and paving the way to a decentralized economy in the future.”
As part of its moves to adopt and develop blockchain across the economic bloc, the EC in April formed the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) along with 27 member countries to support the delivery of cross-border digital public services.