BBVA, along with four other banks, recently joined a European Commissioned-backed blockchain technology initiative. Spain’s second-largest bank – BBVA – says the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA) will promote useful utilization of the emerging technology across the region.


BBVA Set to Join IATBA

In a report published by BBVA on Tuesday (November 20, 2018), BBVA announced that the European Commission invited it, alongside four other banks, to join the IATBA. The Association aims to coordinate the exploration of blockchain potential in various global digital applications.

A portion of the BBVA report reads:

This association will work to promote interoperability between these technologies [blockchain and DLT], develop sector-specific guidelines and protocols, promote EU standards across the world and provide information for the implementation of Europe’s blockchain strategy.

According to Carlos Kuchkovsky, the bank’s R&D chief, the IATBA could play a vital role in the creation of region-wide best practices regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT). The emergence of recognized standards could prevent fragmentation and regulatory arbitrage within Europe.

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BBVA, for its part, continues to embrace and adopt blockchain-based technology. The bank recently concluded the world’s first ever blockchain-based syndicated loan deal, to the tune of $170 million.

Europe Going Big on Blockchain Technology

For the EU, the IATBA is part of its aim to drive DLT innovation. The European Commission announced the founding of the initiative at its recent EU Blockchain Roundtable conference held in Brussels, Belgium.

Earlier in the year, the European Commission began working on modalities for the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). About 27 European countries have already agreed to work together, signing a partnership deal as part of the initiative.

Among the EBP mandate is the drive to ensure that blockchain applications in the region comply with existing EU regulations. Recently, Live Bitcoin News reported about a study which showed that GDPR-complaint firms could use blockchain technology.

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Regional Cryptocurrency Regulations

On cryptocurrencies, the EU is also pursuing standardization, especially regarding know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols. However, in the absence of central regulation, there is the fear of fragmentation and regulatory arbitrage occasioned by various laws in different countries.

Generally, the region appears to favor cryptocurrency, with Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, saying virtual currencies posed no threats to central banks. Companies like Coinbase and its brethren have even begun to take steps to expand their presence in the region.

What do you think about the IATBA mandate and its quest to promote useful blockchain technology adoption across the region? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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