Major Spanish Banks Join EU Blockchain Platform

- November 22nd, 2018

Called the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications, the initiative will be “legally set up” sometime in Q1 2019.

With the European Commission (EC) set to launch a blockchain initiative in early 2019, two major Spanish banks have announced that they have joined the association. 

BBVA (BME:BBVA), one of Spain’s top banks, announced on Tuesday (November 20) that it is one of the first five banks to join the EC’s International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA). Spanish publication Expansion named Banco Santander (BME:SAN) as the second bank joining the IATBA.

According to BBVA’s press release, the association could be “legally set up” as soon as the first quarter of next year.

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The announcement comes following an EU Blockchain Roundtable which took place in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday.

Called “Bringing industries together for Europe to lead in blockchain technologies,” the platform is aiming to create a “comprehensive EU strategy” in efforts to ramp up innovations surrounding blockchain.

“Blockchain will transform digital services. This is a major opportunity to increase trust and to improve services in a wide range of industries and sectors,” the IATBA claims.

BBVA said in its release the purpose of the initiative is to generate support from private blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) experts to “contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies.”

Carlos Kuchvovsky, head of research and development of new digital business at BBVA, said in the release this project will play an important role in establishing blockchain best practices and standards in Europe. Kuchvosky stressed that the initiative will be crucial in offering clarity to the “regulatory uncertainty” surrounding blockchain and other technologies such as artificial intelligence.

“Blockchain is not only a technology, but it engenders new business models creating a ‘tokenized economy’ and paving the way back to a decentralised economy in the future,” he said.

The roundtable discussion comes following the EC forming the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) in April of this year, which has now been signed by 27 countries. Goals of the EBP include creating a trusted, secure and resilient European blockchain services infrastructure with standards in terms of privacy, cybersecurity, interoperability and energy efficiency compliant with EU laws.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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