The Belgian digital minister, Mathieu Michel, is planning to make Belgium a blockchain hub. In a recent interview, Michel pointed out that he is pro-crypto and blockchain. However, he believes that the main thing Belgium and Europe should focus on when developing blockchain technology is privacy. He will continue to focus on creating and implementing a framework that respects privacy to a maximum. He plans to do this through the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) and Europeum – a possible blockchain initiative to develop EU strategies.
Michel has always been loud about his plans for a blockchain-friendly EU. His vision is focused on public services and supply-chain management. So, instead of using blockchain and cryptocurrencies purely for financial applications, he intends to utilize them for other industries and fields as well. According to him, this comes after the high number of scams and scandals in the crypto industry. While the EU has already set rules for cryptocurrency providers, scams are still very common. The Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) is going to go on a vote in April. If it passes, this will become the world’s first major jurisdiction that provides a clear crypto framework. This is likely to pressure other countries and international actors to work on crypto frameworks as well.
Europe Working Towards a Crypto-Friendly Future
While this is a major step for global regulation, Michel believes that MiCA is the first step towards a better future. Additionally, he believes that the EU should consider the possibility of a new blockchain network – one that is focused on the values of European society. To help make this reality, Michel started an initiative in his own country, Belgium. Blockchain for Belgium is an initiative through which policymakers and entrepreneurs in the blockchain industry can seek advice and networking opportunities. This initiative is just the first step towards making Belgium an international blockchain hub. Of course, this initiative will also focus on sub-sectors such as Web3 and cryptocurrencies.
The main issue with making Belgium a blockchain hub is its complex federal structure. For context, having a structure like Belgium means that key policies lie in the hands of regional governments. Sometimes the finance minister can also make a decision. Another issue is that making Beglium a blockchain hub will require major investments in start-ups. Moreover, the need for raising capital is high when it comes to such advancements in a country. While this may be an easy thing to do in the United States, European societies work differently. This implies that it will be harder for startups to attract any kind of capital and investment.