Besides China’s ongoing struggle with the coronavirus, one of the defining narratives for the world’s largest country entering the new decade was its central bank-issued digital currency. Reportedly in its final phase of testing and ready for rollout in 2020, the Chinese CBDC has sparked speculation and intrigue from governments around the world.
Just recently, a Federal Reserve governor detailed how the United States central bank is exploring digital currencies following reports of interest over the last several months. The Bank for International Settlements and several European banks have also touched on the subject, revealing a warming disposition to a once-shuttered technology.
The announcement by China sparked undercurrents of competition, and the result may very well be more regulatory-friendly frameworks around the world. But there’s a more subtle narrative at work, superseding geopolitical boundaries.
Regulatory regimes concerning blockchain and crypto are fragmented — it’s no secret.
Europe’s unique position as both a multinational entity (the European Union) and a heterogeneous mixture of cultures — especially with the United Kingdom’s recent Brexit — are a microcosm for understanding the global state of blockchain innovation.
The question becomes: Can fragmentation converge on standardization?
“While Europe’s blockchain ecosystem may not be as big as the U.S. or Asia’s, it comes with the potential to collaborate due to greater sharing between countries,” details the Blockchain in Europe: 2020 Review report from decentralized think tank dGen. It continues:
“And, as each country has unique strengths and cooperation continues to grow, it is a strong environment that promises to push forward even more innovation.”
What’s evident is that proponents of blockchain technology view a changing global dynamic. Underscored by the interconnectivity of the internet, blockchain innovation appears less reliant on geopolitical boundaries and more focused on building collaborative communities, regardless of location.
Thus, Europe can provide a framework for overcoming regulatory and conventional work barriers with its unique arrangement.
Looking beyond geopolitical barriers
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are a movement toward more transparent and open technology, covering areas from finance to privacy tech and the next iteration of the web. At the core of the movement is an ethos of “borderless” developments, which is congruent with dGen’s vision for a more united Europe on advancing blockchain technology.
“I'm really excited to stop talking about countries or startups and start talking more about communities and collectives,” Maria Paula Fernandez, founder and director of the Department of Decentralization at ETHBerlin, shared in the report. Read More...