Leaders from EU governments came together Monday April 9, in their second gathering of “Digital Day.” The meeting is used to address the most pressing issues related to technology, and how best the group can utilize available tools to work together and mutually benefit from the possibilities.
Digital Day 2018
Last year, the conference fostered major progress towards a Digital Single Market in the EU. This is the broadest goal sought by leaders involved. They hope to bring down regulatory inefficiencies between borders to achieve a potential €415 billion per year in economic stimulus from the changes. Five topics were chosen as a focus this year to work towards that goal
- Joining forces on artificial intelligence
- Building a European partnership in blockchain technologies
- Sharing data to personalize healthcare
- Encouraging innovation with the help of new online tool Innovation Radar
- 5G cross-border testing corridors to support connected and automated mobility
Serious research into blockchain technology began in a united form with the EU back in February as they launched the “Blockchain Advisory and Forum.” The movement is firmly backed – “Up to 2020, it will fund projects that could draw on blockchain technologies for up to €340 million.”
At the end of the conference, 22 European countries signed a declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership. Commissioner Mariya Gabriel for Digital Economy and Society, had a strong positive outlook on the topic:
“In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies. The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”
Will the U.S. be left behind?
A hint of government adoption recently sprung up in Unite States, where West Virginia has implemented a blockchain based voting system for military personnel who are stationed overseas. But overall, their seems to be much more friction than there is progress amongst government bodies, corporations and individuals. Even the younger generations of other countries are showing more interest in the space, such as Japan’s prominent youth investment.