According to reports, the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, has revealed that it will be launching a new blockchain association in 2019. The report further states that major banks across the world are already on board with the initiative.
In a separate report, Spanish banking giant BBVA revealed this Tuesday that it and four more European banking giants have joined the European Commission’s planned IATBA (International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications). This new association could become a legal entity beginning from the first quarter of 2019.
Although the remaining banks that have signed up for the initiative haven’t been named in the official announcements, several sources have reported that Santander is one of the groups involved.
The EU Made its Plans Public In the Recent EU Blockchain Roundtable
The EU’s initiative was made public in the recent EU blockchain roundtable “Bringing industries together for Europe to lead in blockchain technologies,” in Brussels, Belgium on Nov. 20. The new association is going to have representatives from the public and private sectors with the goal of “garnering support from the private blockchain sector and DLT experts to contribute to outlining the EU’s long term strategy regarding these technologies,” according to Spanish banking giant, BBVA.
The association is designed to set protocols and develop guidelines for the blockchain sector. The endgame is to promote the EU’s blockchain standards globally. It will provide more information regarding the implementation of the European blockchain strategy.
Establishing Best Practices and Standards
According to Carlos Kuchkovsky, who serves as the head of research and development for new digital business at BBVA, the association will have a crucial role to play when it comes to establishing blockchain standards and best practices as well as avoiding fragmentation in Europe. Kuchkovsky, believes the initiative will provide more clarity regarding the “regulatory uncertainty” currently surrounding the blockchain sector.
As part of a series of moves to adopt and deploy blockchain across the economic space, the EC in formed the EBP (European Blockchain Partnership) in April. This association includes 27 member states to support the provision of cross-border public services digitally.
Norway Has Withdrawn Electricity Subsidies From its Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Farms
Norway has moved to withdraw electricity subsidies for Bitcoin (BTC) mining facilities in the country, according to Aftenposten, Norway’s largest printed newspaper on Nov. 21. Until recently, mining farms in the country (keeping up with other high power-consumption industries) paid just 0.48 øre ($0.05) per kilowatt for electricity. This new move by the authorities will make the costs rise to 16.58 øre per kilowatt from January next year. This development is the result of an amended budget agreement.
With the advantageous electricity subsidies currently, Norwegian mining farms can mine BTC at $7,700 per coin. Even though this news has brought uncertainty in the space, there are nonetheless several individuals within the local blockchain sector, who agree with the move made by the government on Bitcoin mining in the country.
You can recall that a recent report from Diar showed that only the “big guns” in the crypto industry are making enough profit from Bitcoin (BTC) Mining. For the first time since September, smaller miners who are paying retail electricity prices have shifted towards negative revenue as the cost of power rises.