Eva Kaili has big plans for the future. She’s a Greek member of the European Parliament, and a key advocate for blockchain technology. In an interview this week, Kaili explained how the distributed ledger could move beyond a means of registering cryptocurrency transactions and solve key issues in politics.
Kaili is not the first person to suggest governments should employ blockchain technology. Arnaud Castaignet, head of public relations for Estonia’s e-Residency initiative last December, where users could identify themselves with blockchain-based tokens to cut back on bureaucracy and verification costs. In May, Microsoft explained how blockchain could protect against statelessness by providing a transparent digital record of a citizen’s identity.
The European Union, with 28 member states and over 500 million people, could benefit from such cross-border technology. In the same interview, Kaili suggested that the European Parliament was warming to the potential for blockchain: “I would say we try to have a very positive environment for innovation and technology, not to accept the resistance of the traditional system and banking system…I think everybody now understands the potential and impact that this technology could have.”
The European Commission is supporting these efforts through the Blockchain for Social Good competition, open until September 3, 2019, which will award €1 million ($1.1 million) each to five winners that can demonstrate blockchain-based solutions to social issues.