A British startup has been chosen by the European Commission to help design and develop European blockchain capabilities.
iov42, which builds blockchain-based identification tools, beat corporate giants including EY, Vodafone and Deloitte to become one of seven companies to secure an EU contract. The seven awards were collectively worth €6.2m (£5.31m).
According to the European Commission “the aim” of the project “is to go beyond what existing blockchain solutions can offer” to improve European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI).
The CEO of iov42, Dominic von Trotha Taylor, commented on the news. He said: “We are delighted to have been selected by the European Commission to work on EBSI, which is made even more special for us as the only UK-based start-up to have been chosen.”
The EBSI will be a pan-European blockchain with each member state and the European Commission running at least one node, the name used to describe computers which power blockchain networks.
Initially, Blockchain technology will be used to improve cross-border services. Digital passports for products and IP rights are just two ideas that have been earmarked for exploration during the first phase of the project which will focus on product design.
The Commission’s plans for blockchain do not stop there. A spokesperson for iov42 said that the EU would be exploring use of the technology to improve “everything from currency to digital identities” through the project.
Last year, the EU announced plans to roll out a digital Euro by 2025, however, it as yet unclear whether the digital currency will be based on blockchain technology.
In the meantime, the Commission has announced it will allocate “significant budget” to blockchain projects with plans to scale-up investment to €1-2bn under the Horizon Europe programme.