Lithuanian Members of European Parliament Say Blockchain is Here to Stay – Hands Off Regulation!

MEP Antanas Guoga: blockchain is here to stay. Let's educate about it before going hard on regulation

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On October 3,  2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on distributed ledger technologies and blockchains and all the political group members supported the resolution, which sends a positive message that politicians see this technology as benefiting Europe.

“It shows that in Europe there is a huge positive view towards blockchain technology. Now we, members of the European Parliament have expressed our view by adopting the resolution. The resolution sends us a clear message: blockchain technology is a new technology which can benefit Europe in many areas by bringing more efficiency and transparency for example in supply chain, energy, public services, financial services to name a few. However, the technology is still in a premature state, so we as decision makers should be open-minded towards this technology. Let’s not create unnecessary regulatory obstacles which can hinder the development of blockchain.” said EPP Group MEP Antanas Guoga, who is a great enthusiast of all innovations and specially of the blockchain technology.

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The resolution calls for progressive and innovation-friendly regulation.

“Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in general have a strong disruptive element that will affect many sectors,” said MEP Eva Kaili, the author of the resolution. “Financial services is just one. The resolution also looked at the effects of the technologies leading to fewer intermediaries in other sectors such as energy, health care, education, creative industries as well as the public sector. We experience a strong entrepreneurial interest in blockchain. We, as regulators, need to make sure that all this effort will be embraced by the necessary institutional and legal certain” MEP E. Kaili said.

The EU has already been promoting the technology. For example, it has already invested more than €80 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain. The European Commission has said around €300 million more will be allocated by 2020.

“In Europe we have a lot of potential to lead in new technologies such as blockchain technology or AI. In fact, we are already very good at it. Now we just need not to create unnecessary obstacles with over-regulation. Instead we should encourage learning process in our member states to learn about the potential of these new technologies through various initiatives.” MEP A. Guoga said.

Last autumn he founded the Blockchain Centre in Vilnius – the first international blockchain centre in Europe who is working to educate people about blockchain technology, to help blockchain startups to establish their business in Europe. A few weeks ago,  Guoga and his team organized a huge ICT event in Vilnius, Lithuania called #SWITCH! which was dedicated to blockchain technology in partnership with EPP group at the EP, Luno, Lympo, Odem, Oracle, Skycop and other global tech companies and organizations. More than 15 000 participants attended the event which shows that people are eager to learn about the potential of new technologies.

“So before regulating any new technology first we need to educate ourselves as well as European citizens about it.” Guoga emphasized.

A motion of a resolution is an official position of the European Parliament on certain issues. If adopted, the resolution will be forwarded to the European Commission for consideration.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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