A new European initiative has been launched to ensure the continent capitalises on the transformative potential of blockchain technologies.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, backed by the European Commission, will have a remit to promote cross-border collaboration and develop projects that can harness the tech. It will also examine blockchain’s ‘socioeconomic potential’ and scope to tackle major world’s biggest challenges.

“Technologies like blockchain can help reduce costs while increasing trust, traceability and security. They have huge potential for making social and economic transactions more secure online by guarding against an attack and removing the need for any middleman. We want to build on Europe’s substantial talent base and excellent startups to become a leading world region that will develop and invest in the rollout of blockchain,” said Andrus Ansip, the European Commission’s Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.

The open forum will see to bring everyone together; experts in the field, industry stakeholders, regulators and citizens will all be given a voice. And to bolster engagement levels, blockchain company ConsenSys will tap into its network to create connections throughout the EU and internationally.

Blockchain features regularly on these pages. Labelled the gatekeeper in the emerging trust economy, its effect is being felt in an ever increasing number of areas, including education, climate action, food, banking, transportation.