EU squandered 60 million euros on pointless fintech fad, but Belgians won’t let it end – POLITICO

At least Belgian Digitalization Minister Mathieu Michel will use his country’s EU Presidency, which expires in June, to rally support from other EU member states for a rebooted version of the stalled project. That was until I decided to.

Now, under the guise of a possible “metaverse” evolution, Michel has secured approval from about a dozen states for the project. But the project’s unclear parameters and ambiguous mandate have lingered concerns that, under Mr. Michel’s leadership, the EU could throw bad money followed by better money to keep the whole thing afloat.

Michel himself is not worried about the fatalists. He professes to be a “true believer” in blockchain technology (famously derived from the decentralized payment system that powers Bitcoin), and he believes it will take some time before the technology is proven. I’m sure it’s a problem.

“Even if you lose 800,000 euros, this is not a waste of money compared to the potential it could bring,” Michel assured POLITICO in an interview in January. The important thing is to explore and do new things. ”

In that vein, since his Belgian presidency began in January, Michel has focused on removing what can be salvaged from the old EBSI initiative and finding ways to reuse it under the newly expanded Metaverse powers. It’s here.

an unsightly fall

EBSI was born in 2018 and was established as a type of public-private partnership between the Commission, the European Technology Consortium and the 27 EU member states, with the mandate to pilot blockchain projects in the public sector.

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