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European Parliament Takes Step Toward Embracing Distributed Ledger Technology




A committee in the European Parliament passed a resolution that could lead to the use of distributed ledger technology throughout the continent.

On May 16th, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy passed a resolution outlining the benefits of adopting distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The author of the resolution, Eva Kailia member of Greece's Panhellenic Socialist Movement, called for "open-minded, progressive, and innovation-friendly regulation," according to the European Parliament's news service.

The resolution states that "DLT can transform and democratize the energy markets and allows households to produce environment-friendly energy and peer-to-peer exchange." It also explains the benefits DLT can bring to the fields of health care, education, and even voting.

The resolution delves into privacy concerns as well, mentioning how DLT can help private citizens store and control their personal data through private keys better than traditional platforms. This mirrors the concern European lawmakers had this week when interviewing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg over the mishandling of personal data.

Although the proposal centers around the advantages of distributed ledger technology, it challenges the European Commission (EC) to take action. Specifically, it wants it to develop a "strategic plan for building DLT-based infrastructure within and amongst the EU Institutions," noting "that a European public-sector blockchain could be the heart of a trusted transactional ecosystem."

The resolution continues by addressing the fact that smart contracts (aka EDCCs) are the backbone of DLT and calls for the EC to explore the technical aspects of legally enforcing them across the digital single market, which ensures the free movement of online information across European borders.

Perhaps most importantly, the resolution asks the EC to develop a framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs), stating that ICOs "have a strong potential in funding innovation and accelerate technology transfer."

In a statement to the commission, Kaili said that her main goal for this resolution was not to "regulate the technology per se, but rather its uses and the sectors that adopt this technology in their business models. Consumer protection and investor protection come first."

This resolution is not entirely dissimilar from government actions in the United States. In September of 2016, ETHnews reported about a resolution supporting blockchain and cryptocurrency technology that was passed by the House of Representatives.

The European Commission is set to vote on the resolution in June.

Nathan Graham

Nathan Graham lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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