“Soft Touch” Blockchain Regulation Promised by Brussels

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A “soft touch” approach” on the regulation of blockchain has been taken by Brussels as it explored the applications of the technology across the services of the government.

On Tuesday, while talking at an event in London, Sorin Moisa, the Romanian member of the European Parliament, said that the European Commission is going towards blockchain with “acceptance and support but a healthy degree of caution.”

He also stated that a warning on initial coin offerings was issued by the European financial watchdog earlier this month. The financial watchdog said that the initial coin offerings would be treated as securities and it would not apply to utility tokens. These are not the same as cryptocurrencies in that the latter facilitate a transaction instead of having an intrinsic value in themselves.

Moisa said that an EU Observatory would be launched early in 2018 in order to monitor the opportunities and risks of the technology, as well as determine areas where it could be utilised by the European Commission, such as VAT reporting or procurement.

A pilot project that is focused on using blockchain for financial reporting will also be launched by the commission in 2018. A white paper discussing the technology will also be published.

He stated: “There is both fascination and bewilderment in Brussels with blockchain. Awareness however is growing. There’s a drive to understand, to pilot and experiment, and also to regulate.”