EU Investing Billions in Blockchain

The European Union plans to make a multibillion-euro investment in technology development by sinking money into blockchain, data infrastructure and high-performance computing, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday (Sept. 15). 

The effort in several European countries is part of an initiative to spur semiconductor manufacturing in the wake of the global shortage that slowed automobile production lines. The European Commission didn’t say how much it will invest in each area, but the total will be about 20% of the region’s 750 billion euro ($887 billion) pandemic recovery fund. 

Digital technology is “the make-or-break issue” for the region, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, according to the Bloomberg report. Officials will spend money on data infrastructure, low-power processors, 5G communication, high-performance computing, secure quantum communication, public administration, blockchain services, digital innovation and investing in people’s digital skills. 

Related: Crypto Is Innovative But Risky, European Regulator Says 

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) called cryptocurrency both a financial innovation and a possible threat due to the cost of crypto mining in its new “Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities” report.

Crypto asset volatility and the growing popularity of stablecoins, central bank digital currencies and decentralized finance are combining to increase the risk of cryptocurrency, the ESMA report said. 

The European Central Bank is preparing for a two-year investigation into whether a digital euro can “meet the needs of Europeans while at the same time helping to prevent illicit activities and avoiding any undesirable impact on financial stability and monetary policy,” the organization said in July. 

Also read: Stellar: Blockchain Is the Next Big Disruptor of the Cross-Border Payments Category 

Banks can use blockchain to realize cost efficiencies and boost financial inclusion, and perhaps even revolutionize finance, Jason Chlipala, COO at Stellar Development Foundation, told PYMNTS. 

“The paradigm shift that blockchain technology allows is you can now build safe, efficient payment systems on common or shared infrastructure,” he said. 

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