Blockchain is Not Just About the Technology, Says EU Blockchain Observatory Official

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Jolanda ter Maten from the EU Blockchain Observatory answered the questions from EAK TV at ANON Blockchain Summit in Vein 2019. She defined her point of view on the main issues concerning the impact of blockchain to businesses and its future possibilities. Here we would like to present the main excerpts from this interview.

Blockchain in the Netherlands

Jolanda, being a representative from the Netherlands in the EU Commission, explained the present situation around blockchain tech in the country. The Netherlands have Dutch blockchain coalition represented by the public services, academic institutions, and businesses. They cooperate in order to create a reliable and sustainable blockchain system.

Speaking about blockchain businesses in the Netherlands, she admitted that they have good perspectives for big businesses:

“I think we have a very good climate for blockchain startups, we have some big businesses that are really getting into blockchain like banks: Rabobank. ABN AMRO is also getting into blockchain.

I see that the Notary Association in the Netherlands is also involved in blockchain, the Chamber of Commerce, so a lot of really big companies are involved, also academic institutions.”

She also mentioned that they have an education program called “Teach the Teacher”, which is aimed to push blockchain adoption in the education sector.

Current State of Blockchain

According to the opinion of Jolanda ter Maten, there is still a lot of opportunities for the improvements. Many initiatives have already been fulfilled (documents certification, logistics). However, there are some challenges in such spheres as insurance, law regulations and lack of people awareness in this field:

“I think for mass adoption it’s also important that people understand more about blockchain, what it is and how it could help them with an open mind.”

Nevertheless, it was mentioned that some European countries have great success in implementing blockchain regulations, such as Malta and Iceland. Other countries are also working on that but it is not easy because blockchain crosses not just borders.

“Blockchain doesn’t stop at the border, it crosses the border and it crosses the jurisdictions. So, having jurisdictions in one country doesn’t mean that you can automatically do business with other countries.”

In comparison to China, that considers blockchain more like technology, Europe also pays attention to the added value to business and society.

“Blockchain is not just about the technology. Like I say it’s not an IT party, it’s something for the business and society.”

EU Blockchain Observatory Forum

Jolanda ter Maten has noticed that adoption is a key point for the future development of blockchain. The main goal of EU Blockchain Observatory Forum is to inform people what the blockchain is to lessen the fear that they have because of the ignorance.

“We try to address to those topics and to do it in a way that is understandable for everybody. I think if people understand what it’s really about and what it really means they don’t need to be scared of it.”

In the end, Jolanda expressed positive about the potential of blockchain technologies in dealing with challenges inherent for public services sphere, also including such sectors as logistics, farming, and migration. She also underlined that blockchain, because of the transparency and the fact that you can verify the data, could really improve the world.

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