European Commission seeks advice for blockchain project

The advice needed is in regards to the operation of an EBSI infrastructure

The office of the European Commission
The European Commission is going full speed ahead on its public sector blockchain project

The European Commission will be issuing a call for tenders for legal advice, as part of its plans to start working on a public sector blockchain project.

The contract, which is worth €60,000 (around $70,000) will be asking applicants for ways to address “all conceivable relevant legal questions and challenges arising from the operation of the EBSI infrastructure”. This will be for both the network level as well as in terms of use cases.

The EBSI, which is an acronym for the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure, is envisioned to be the backbone for blockchain infrastructure in the public sector. It is expected, over time, to become interoperable with other private sector platforms.

The goal of the project is to have every member of the European Blockchain Partnership running at least one node. This will include the 27 members of the European Union (EU), Liechtenstein, Norway and the European Commission itself.

The development of the project will be financed starting from 2021, thanks to the Digital Europe Programme. The programme’s primary focus is on finding ways to build the strategic digital capabilities of the EU.

Individuals and entities that have applied for the tender have been asked to give feedback or advice on potential legal vehicles that could take care of the EBSI infrastructure, and address the legal implications of different governance structures for permissioned public blockchains as well.

In related news, a project that was funded by the European Commission under the Next Generation Internet initiative is currently looking for applicants that hope to build a new software ecosystem for “trusted, traceable and transparent ontological knowledge management”.

The project will provide €123,000 ($146,000) in equity-free money to selected applicants out of a  €4.2 million (approximately $5 million) fund. This is a 7-month supporting program where participants are guided by free coaching as well as free access to infrastructure.

The Coordinator of Ontochain, Caroline Barelle, explained that the goal of the company was to help create a more open and accessible internet.

“Today, digital life is an extension of our physical world and demands the same critical, moral and ethical thinking. By bringing Ontochain to you and building it with you, we expect to contribute to a more distributed and transparent internet that respects and promotes the fundamental values of diversity, equality, privacy and participation”, she explained.

The company will be accepting applications until 15 January 2021.