Meeting at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York, EU and US legislators discuss blockchain regulations for business, agreeing that in the absence of official guidance, regulatory ‘sandboxes’ are the best approach.
U.S. Representative, David Schweikert explained that Arizona are already implementing this sandbox approach, allowing trusted business partners to experiment with blockchain innovations in a supervised environment.
Arizona has been actively supporting blockchain technology, most notably with a bill to allow enterprises within the state to store their information in a blockchain-based system.
Joining the panel discussion, Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) explained that working with European Union (EU) legislators, she expects that:
“in the next few years we’ll have harmonisation, sandboxes and regulation.”
Just a few days earlier, members of the European Parliament voted to recommend that small businesses look into blockchain payment systems, to relieve some of the financial costs attributed to intermediaries.
In April, 22 EU nations including the U.K., France, Germany, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands formed the European Blockchain Partnership in a bid to lead the adoption of the technology to benefit the region. Kaili said:
“We are still getting more member states to join our effort”
During the discussion, the panel of regulators agreed with EU’s Kaili that “it’s really difficult to educate every politician on blockchain technology”, however U.S.’ Schweikert noted that lack of regulation was not all bad, saying:
“One of the greatest concerns now in Congress is crippling innovation with regulation – so the ‘fog’ we are in now may actually be beneficial.”
These sentiments echoed EU MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker’s comments, a week earlier at the European Parliament in a session discussion on the ‘future of blockchain regulation in the 28-nation economic bloc’, where he stated:
“It’s probably too early to intervene at this stage, because we as legislators don’t yet see sufficiently clearly to know what the main issues are going to be – so in order to not to stifle innovation, we don’t want it to be now.”