The European Commission (EC) has launched ‘the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications’, aka INATBA. This, according to the EC, will bring together industry, startups and SMEs, policy makers, international organisations, regulators, civil society and standard setting bodies to support blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).
In this infelicitous description from the EC, blockchain/DLT will: “be mainstreamed and scaled-up across multiple sectors” (whatever that means). The official launch of INATBA took place in Brussels on April 3.
For the EC the purpose of INATBA is: “to unlock the full transformational potential and harness the benefits of blockchain and DLT for businesses, the public sector and society at large“. To that end, INATBA aims to develop a framework that promotes:
- public and private sector collaboration
- regulatory convergence
- legal predictability
- integrity and transparency.
Activities will involve:
- constructive dialogue: maintenance of a permanent and constructive dialogue with public authorities and regulators that will contribute to the convergence of regulatory approaches to blockchain and other distributed ledger technology around the world
- a governance model: promotion of a transparent and inclusive governance model for blockchain and other distributed ledger technology infrastructures, one which reflects the shared interests of stakeholders as varied as industry, start-ups and SMEs, civil society organisations, governments and international organisations
- development support: this will include adoption of interoperability guidelines, specifications and global standards with the intention that these enhance trusted, traceable, user-centric digital services
- DLT applications: using sector-specific guidelines and specifications to develop trusted sector-specific blockchain and DLT applications.
From the start, the INATBA board members will include:
- Julie Maupin, IOTA – Germany
- Nina-Luisa Siedler, thinkBlocktank – Luxembourg
- Carlos Kuchkovsky, BBVA – Spain
- Henry Rõigas, Guardtime – Estonia
- Paco Garcia, CTO, Yoti – UK
- Jacob Bansgaard ,ERTICO – Belgium
- Nadia Filali, Caisse des Dépots – France
- Maike Gericke, Scrypt Media – France
- Kai Wagner, Jolocom – Germany
- Fabian Friedrich, Blockchance UG, Germany
Initial members, according to the INATBA website, include more than 100 organisations. Here is a selection:
- Barclays Services Ltd
- Blockchain Bundesverband
- Blockchain Italia
- Deutsche Borse
- Deutsche Telekom
- Eclipse Foundation
- Intersa San Paolo
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
The EC possesses a passion for the grandiose, as if one huge collection of disparate enterprises can isolate a single broadly applicable ‘answer’ to: “what is is blockchain for and how should we all use it?” This, INATBA initiative, has the potential to replicate errors of the past, even though the underlying objectives do sound reasonable.
Why so many organisation are choosing to sign up is less clear. Possibly it is in order not to be left out, in case the EC proffers money or projects as hand outs.
While Enterprise Times (ET) will observe with interest from afar, its expectations are that INATBA will be a talking shop which consumes valuable cycles of skilled commercial employee time for unproductive results. ET hopes it is wrong. But the antecedents are not good.