EBSI consists of a peer-to-peer network of interconnected nodes running a blockchain-based services infrastructure. Each member of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) – the 27 EU Member States, Norway, Liechtenstein and the European Commission – will run at least one node.
The infrastructure is made up of different layers including: a base layer containing the basic infrastructure, connectivity, the blockchain and necessary storage; a core services layer that will enable all EBSI-based use cases and applications; layers dedicated to use cases and specific applications.
It will allow public (and eventually also private) organizations to develop applications that connect to and make use of the EBSI infrastructure.
EBSI use cases and roadmap
By design, EBSI is being built in an iterative manner, focusing on a small number of specific use cases (applications), and then expanding them over time.
The initial set of EBSI use cases are:
- Notarisation: Leveraging the power of blockchain to create trusted digital audit trails, automate compliance checks in time-sensitive processes and prove data integrity.
- Diplomas: Giving control back to citizens when managing their education credentials; significantly reducing verification costs and improving authenticity trust.
- European Self-Sovereign Identity: Implementing a generic Self-Sovereign Identity capability, allowing users to create and control their own identity across borders without relying on centralised authorities, and enabling for compliance with the eIDAS regulatory framework.
- Trusted Data Sharing: Leveraging blockchain technology to securely share data amongst authorities in the EU, starting at first with the IOSS VAT identification numbers and import one-stop-shop amongst customs and tax authorities.
EBSI will be enriched by other use cases. Currently the EBP is working on three additional use cases that will be added to EBSI in future steps (after mid 2021). These concern (i) SME financing through blockchain; (ii) Leveraging on European Social Security Number to facilitate cross border access to welfare services; and (iii) to facilitate the management of cross-border and cross-authority asylum demand processes.
Moreover, once EBSI is in full production, private companies and organisations will be able to join EBSI as a utility. This should, among other things, open up significant opportunities for cost savings and efficiencies in interactions and transactions between the public and private sectors.
To prepare for future capacities of EBSI and to support new types of use cases, the European Commission has launched a Pre-Commercial Procurement action. It started through an open market consultation and the call for tender is now going to be published by end September (possibly early October) 2020. Interested market parties are invited to consult the European Blockchain Pre-Commercial Procurement web pages.