European politicians are looking at the next moves for Web3 adoption and the answer might be a custom-made blockchain.
According to Belgium’s digital minister Mathieu Michel, the EU needs its own uniquely designed network to conduct digital payments and smart contracts. The digital minister noted that this would rival existing decentralised networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The network would be used to record and store national and personal documents such as property ownership, driving licenses and professional qualifications. It would also be used for functions like Gov-tech, public services and supply-chain management, putting these logistics onto the blockchain at this scale for the first time.
The EU-wide network, going under the name “Europeum”, will be voted in if the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation is accepted within the next month. The exists as part of the European Union’s regulatory framework for crypto and digital assets.
According to Michel, if the legislation is ratified, the EU would require “a blockchain network constructed around the foundational values that underpin European society”.
The European Union’s blockchain
Michel noted that Europeum would be designed with an algorithm that would protect privacy while retaining the transparency of a blockchain. The network would also focus on creating a way to add administrative documents or on-chain storage as part of the digital world, taking initiative to make the Web3 more accessible for citizens across the EU.
One challenge the EU might face undergoing the development of such an encompassing blockchain relates to the number of developers that can undertake the project. Currently, the market price for blockchain developers is high, with few specialists looking to work in the public sector in the industry. The blockchain would need to be built capable enough to handle high volumes of traffic and transactions and finding a strong development team might prove to be difficult.
Blockchain researcher and tech expert Dr Keir Finlow-Bates, founder of Chainfrog, weighed in the matter to Yahoo Finance. He that relying on an existing blockchain might be a better call. It would be a more affordable option and would be easier to save on building a brand new robust blockchain to handle the requirement. Instead, any resources allocated to the project would be better spent on developing a blockchain off of another network which already have the requirements to undertake the needs of Europeum. The development of the project would also need to operate under a fairly centralised nature compared to existing networks such as Ethereum or privacy-focused projects like Zcash or Monero.
As a union and not one nation, each country would need to run its own node and operate with its own system that would work coherently with the overall network. According to Bates, each country would probably need to run its own node with citizens participating in the maintenance of the network. With this, centralised governments might have a challenge to allow citizens to be involved in such a degree. Instead, he imagines Europeum will likely pivot from Michel’s ideal concept to something more bureaucratic.