On February 1, the European Commission (EC) launched its Blockchain Observatory and Forum in Brussels. The program is intended to “highlight key developments of the blockchain technology, promote European actors and reinforce European engagement with multiple stakeholders involved in blockchain activities.” An official statement cites Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip as saying: “Technologies like blockchain can help reduce costs while increasing trust, traceability and security.”
The 900-word press release makes no say of bitcoin or digital currency, which is a significant accomplishment given that blockchain would not exist were it not for the innovation of decentralized currencies. The EC isn’t committed to shout out bitcoin while praising the advantages of blockchain innovation obviously, and the very certainty that Europe’s primary legislative body is tossing its strength behind dispersed ledger technology bodes well.
A week ago, news.Bitcoin.com provided details regarding a workshop facilitated by EU law enforecement unit Europol. Its topic rotated around attracting up measures to battle tax money laundering with digital currencies, for example, bitcoin. They wrote:
“In the statement issued following the event, Europol has claimed that the adoption of cryptocurrencies for criminal purposes, including terrorist financing, is rising. In order to combat the allegedly growing threat, Europol announced that it will “continue to coordinate across EU Member States and beyond in an endeavor to effectively respond to this rising threat.”
This opposes the discoveries of a current report which concluded that bitcoin transactions related with illicit activities have tumbled to only 0.61%, and which found a 40% drop in such activity since 2013. It is past question that criminals have and keep on using bitcoin and different digital currencies to launder money, similarly as they do with every single financial system. The degree to which this happens, in any case, involves some civil argument.
Moving illegal funds around on a blockchain is unquestionably easier than transferring a large number of dollars between banks. Be that as it may, concealing the route those funds go up against public ledgers is everything except impoosible. As culprits are finding, digital currencies truly aren’t suited to money laundering. While there are methods for obfuscating or incompletely concealing a bitcoin’s starting point, doing as such at scale is greatly hard. As the current week’s EU official statement notes, blockchain is an awesome methods for storing data, immutably and indefinitely. Given the “high levels of traceability and security” which the European Community properly discusses, some may address whether bitcoin and its kind are the hive of criminal activity they’re much of the time painted to be.
Maybe the best understanding of the contradicting statements of Europol and the European Commission Blockchain Observatory and Forum comes down to departmental requirements. It is in light of a legitimate concern for law enforcement to highlight online criminal activity, as to minimize the danger is viably write off funding to battle it. So also, it is in light of a legitimate concern for a blockchain incubator to play up the innovation’s numerous advantages, while overlooking all of its drawbacks. The truth most likely lies some place in the middle of: blockchain is innately neither great nor awful, yet can be purposed from numerous points of view. Be careful the sound bites of officials with motivation to push.