The European Union confirms that it wants to invest heavily in blockchain. The European Commission is currently inviting companies to bid for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) for this particular technology.
PCP on blockchain
Overall, the PCP procedure is in practice the purchase of R&D services by the public sector to adapt a new or emerging technology to its needs.
The new PCP will focus on developing an innovative blockchain solution that builds on the EU legal framework, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, the Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services Regulation, and the Network and Information Systems Directive.
The process will involve the award of several R&D contracts in parallel with the current service providers considered to offer the best value for money. These suppliers will then develop solutions in stages, with the number of contractors moving to each successive stage reduced.
PCP will be undertaken in cooperation with European Blockchain Partnership and will be based on the work done so far.
EBP was established in April 2018 with a commitment to establish a European infrastructure for blockchain services.
This is to provide EU-wide, cross-border public services using blockchain technology. However, ongoing work is focused on use cases that can be quickly and easily implemented using existing blockchain-based solutions. The PCP aims to bridge the gap between the existing solutions and a “tailor-made” system, fully compliant with the EU legal framework, “safety, reliability, interoperability and durability”.
As previously reported in the media, in September the European Commission and the EBP announced plans to launch a pan-European regulatory sandbox on the new technology. This one would be built quite quickly, by 2022.
This latest call for tenders appears to reinforce the EU’s commitment to investing in blockchain technology and distributed ledger. The tender lasts until January 28, 2021.
It is worth adding that in January, a decision may also be made to start work on the digital euro. The issue itself, however, would take place only in a few years.