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European Blockchain Services Infrastructure

The European public sector is building its own blockchain services infrastructure, which should soon be interoperable with private sector platforms.

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The European blockchain services infrastructure (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 countries, 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; 
  • additional layers dedicated to use cases and specific applications.

It will allow public organisations to develop applications that connect to and make use of the EBSI infrastructure. Eventually, it will be extended to private organisations.

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 digital identity: Implementing a generic digital 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 with the IOSS VAT identification numbers and import one-stop-shops 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:

  • financing small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) through blockchain;
  • leveraging European social security numbers to facilitate cross border access to welfare services;
  • facilitating 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 launched a pre-commercial procurement action. It started through an open market consultation and a call for tender. Interested market parties are invited to consult the European Blockchain Pre-Commercial Procurement web pages.

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