Will the EU regulate the blockchain technology? The EU takes a wait and see approach.

The European Commission announced that it will set up an EU Blockchain Observatory. This pilot project aims to build up the regulatory capacity and technical expertise related to blockchain technology. In Q2 2017, the European Commission plans to launch a call for tender for a service contractor to set up the observatory platform with an estimated budget of € 500,000 over two years.

The European Commission intends to build a "knowledge hub" on blockchain technology and its potential applications. It will aim at fostering know-how on infrastructure, smart contracts, governance and validation mechanisms. The observatory will include a forum for the blockchain community to interact and share up-to-date information on relevant initiatives around the world. Regulatory and legal challenges, as well as interoperability issues, will also fall within its scope. The purpose of the observatory will also be to assess the added value of potential applications of innovations that it will identify.

The EU Blockchain Observatory is being developed in the context of the European Commission’s Task Force on FinTech, which was established following the adoption by the European Parliament of an own-initiative report on virtual currencies on 26 May 2016. Final recommendations are expected in the course of 2017.