The Parliament’s office for scientific and technological issues (STOA) joined forces with the European Commission and hosted a workshop on blockchain technology. This new digital storage system could change our lives, or at least, the way we do transactions.
Transactions that are more transparent, decentralised, faster, and cheaper: these are the benefits of blockchain technology, a new digital storage system that could change our lives. Blockchain technology is met with very high public interest, as seen in this workshop organised by Parliament's office for assessing scientific and technological developments. What can change our lives is a life where transactions or contracts can happen without intermediaries. I think this could actually be a revolution because it creates a whole new way of thinking about trust. I think if you ask citizens if they trust the banks or if they trust the governments, I don't think you would get a lot of positive answers. So, how does it work? There is a chain of users who transact with each other. Each transaction is recorded, and this is called a block. What makes this unique is that the entire ledger is on the servers of many users who validate the transactions themselves. This technology was first introduced in the banking sector through bitcoins. But the areas where blockchain could be used are countless. For example, a contract, a smart contract to sell my house. This means you don't need the intermediaries and you are not scared that one day your papers, or your ownership, might change. And also for copyright reasons, to make a contract that you know is valid, nobody can alter it. We can also talk about exchange of energy. You don't just exchange coins, but also values MEPs are closely following this new technology. Their goal: to create a legislative framework without stifling innovation.