Two new working groups were created yesterday, Innovate Finance and City of London Corporation created Fintech Strategy Group and a consortium of fintech companies in Italy creating ItaliaFintech; the groups are meant to help fintech companies collaborate with traditional financial firms and work alongside regulators who want a better understanding of new business models; the working groups come after the European Commission laid out their Fintech Action Plan last week. Source.
The new initiative will promote engagement with those involved in blockchain; it will also monitor new developments to help inform policy making; the European Commission allocated a budget last year and sought out bids for a services contract to set up the observatory; the contract was won by ConsenSys. Source
The European Commission has announced a €30bn investment initiative for blockchain technology; the funding is part of the Horizon 2020 Initiative which helps commit capital to projects in security, climate, clean energy and the digital economy; “Artificial intelligence, genetics, blockchain: science is at the core of today's most promising breakthrough innovations,” said Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation according to CoinDesk. Source.
Passporting could increase fintech competitiveness across Europe as the UK prepares to leave the European Union; passporting would lower regulatory requirements for fintech firms in the European Union allowing them to operate more freely across Europe; it would also create greater incentive for firms to move their business to the European Union and away from London; the European Commission has launched a three month consultation period on passporting and new legislations for fintechs which will be followed with legislative proposals; on Thursday, March 23 the European Commission also published a plan for European Union financial services companies that will focus on reducing costs and increasing consumer protection. Source
The new plans will allow companies in the EU to apply for a pan-EU license so they can operate across borders; the current system is fragmented and underdeveloped because companies find it restrictive to try to move into neighboring markets; the broader plan is a set of 23 steps meant to help companies scale up across the Eurozone and protect investors. Source.
The European Commission is developing new legislation that will help fintech companies, in particular crowdfunding sites and online lenders, operate and scale across single market member states; the idea is meant to create a digital single market, removing what some countries add on within their jurisdiction; this move could help propel funding for fintech companies and increase their ability to compete with companies in the US and Asia. Source.
The European Commission will implement a pilot project to study blockchain and is formalizing a European Union Blockchain Observatory; members of the Observatory will research blockchain solutions and uses; the Observatory is expected to become an expert resource for advising the European Commission on blockchain development and policy recommendations. Source
New government fintech initiatives are trending across the globe and the European Commission (EC) is one of the most recent regulatory agencies to add a fintech group; the EC is the governing regulator for the European Union; it has announced a Financial Technology Task Force (FTTF) to be co-chaired by DG FISMA and DG CONNECT; the FTTF will facilitate regulatory communication in the areas of financial regulation, digital business, competition and consumer protection. Source