Government Support for Blockchain Reaffirmed

By , 07 Dec 2017, 18:04 PM Business
Mining for gold Mining for gold BTC Keychain / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Although as yet many of its plans remain unrealised. 

December 7, 2017

Speaking in an interview with a representative from next week’s Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference, and published in The Slovenia Times, Tadej Slapnik, the State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, and one of the developers of the national blockchain strategy, outlined the government’s hopes for the blockchain and circular economies, although the plans were light on comprehensible detail.

Slapnik spoke of the need to regulate blockchain within the EU as a whole, and noted Slovenia’s role in working towards this. The specific areas of focus are taxation in relation to any profits made with cryptocurrencies; data protection, in particular in light of next year’s introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within the EU; efforts to combat money laundering via cryptocurrencies; and the regulation of securitization, along with the appropriate national central bank policy with regard to these new financial instruments.

The Slovenian government was already relatively advanced in its approach to blockchain, Slapnik noted, pointing to the supportive environment for the development of this technology, as seen in the number blockchain start-ups in the country, and the legal and policy frameworks that have been set up to encourage this, naming the Noordung Blockchain Hub as especially important in this context.

Slapnik went on to outline the potential benefits for Slovenia as a whole from official acceptance of blockchain, due to its emphasis on transparency and thus enabling of democracy. He claimed that this approach would increase the resources available for investment, and reduce inequality. More specifically, the Secretary pointed to greater energy efficiency and increased supplies of high quality food. Slapnik also stated that blockchain would enable Slovenia to achieve its goal of a circular economy, as well as fostering the sharing economy.

When pressed as to whether any blockchain projects were fully functional at the state level in Slovenia, Slapnik confessed that even the most promising ones had still not reached this level, although he highlighted the Data Fund project, recently launched by Cofound.it.

The state’s moves in this area are attracting increasing interest, with a number of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, surging on a volatile but so far ever upward trajectory that promises high returns for those who sell at the right time. Slovenia already hosts a disproportionate number of blockchain firms, led by Bitstamp, while the country already boast four Bitcoin ATMs, and just today the Ljubljana-based firm NiceHash was making headlines around the world, having suffered the theft of some 4,700 bitcoins.

Slapnik speaking last month

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