The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has advised the EU to consider a blockchain regulatory approach that focuses on ensuring that the technology’s potential benefits are accessible to everyone. In a recent EESC report, the committee warned about the potential risk of creating a new digital divide:
According to the EU Reporter, rapporteur Giuseppe Guerini said:
“We don’t want to see a digital divide that creates more inequality and injustice. We don’t want to see a new elite emerging, of people who are familiar with the new technologies and end up excluding others from the economy and the market.”
To reduce the risk of that sort of divide, the EESC is calling for EU regulators and policymakers to support “public measures” that ensure that the technology is developed in ways that promote broad participation and accessibility. Otherwise, the committee warned that blockchain technology might become centralized in the hands of a few nations or key players.
The EESC also acknowledged that blockchain’s benefits extend beyond its obvious role in cryptocurrency. The committee listed a number of areas where the technology could benefit society and the economy, including donation tracking, voting security, educational certification, identity authentication, intellectual property right protection, e-medicine, and tracking agricultural products.