The aim of the European blockchain partnership signed in April is to “cooperate in the establishment of a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) that will support the delivery of cross-border digital public services, with the highest standards of security and privacy.”
Six months later, five other countries have joined the partnership with Italy the latest entrant. The European Blockchain Service infrastructure has been striving to identify areas of cooperation over the distributed ledger technology.
This is not surprising though since the potentials of the novel technology and spread of application is still being studied by many experts.
What has been made known through the cooperation is that “an initial set of cross-border digital public sector services could be deployed through the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure.”
Even though there are indications that progress in this corporation has been slow, the countries are hoping to take advantage of blockchain to make cross-border partnerships in areas related to logistics and regulatory reporting safer and more efficient.
The primary challenge at this time is that the areas of utility are still not defined. Pēteris Zilgalvis is the head of digital innovation and blockchain, speaking on the state of affairs of the partnership, he said:
“The Partnership’s mission is defined in the Joint Declaration and it is on that mandate that we have to deliver before the end of the year. In the Joint Declaration the signatories committed to working together and with the European Commission in order to develop an EBSI that can support the delivery of cross-border digital public services in Europe. So the description of what this services’ infrastructure [EBSI] could look like is what we are currently working on.”
Despite the slow pace of progress, Zilgalvis believes that the details of the basic route to accomplish the objectives of the partnership would have become obvious by the end of the year.
“As stated in the Joint Declaration, by end of 2018 the Partnership must provide a set of use cases of cross-border digital public services that could be deployed through the EBSI, a set of functional and technical specifications for the EBSI and finally, a governance model describing how the EBSI will be managed”.
With meetings scheduled monthly, the committee has just three more meetings this year and hopes to use them to set up a workable proposition for the region.
Kimmo Mäkinen, the Finnish representative to the partnership had this to say,
“We will have three monthly meetings by the end of this year during which we will have to agree not only on use-cases but also technical/functional requirements and governance model for European blockchain infrastructure,”
There is no doubt that the signatories are of best intentions for the partnership, however it is apparent that they need more work to build the rapport and the platform that will deliver the results they desire.
“These deliverables [functional and technical specifications, governance model] will be addressed to the political representatives who signed the Declaration, and if approved, the Partnership could move into implementation mode in 2019” Zilgalvis stated.