Early this year, the Congress of the United States of America issued an in-depth report in which it directly supported the development of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Recently, the European Parliament has repeated this action in favor of the development of these frontier technologies.
The Parliament of the old continent has issued the report called “Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy”. The analysis of the report focuses on a particular aspect of global trade. It’s about the supply-chain sector. The value of this sector has been estimated at 18 billion US Dollars only in the EU. The European report highlights how cumbersome paperwork can be and how there are many obscure aspects of the processes and procedures in the supply chain as it is now. Here lies responsibility for corruption, terrible mistakes and losses at the economic level.
There is a big problem of confidence in the current supply chain. The capacity of the Blockchain technology could bring solutions. For example, it can help reduce errors and reduce costs, thanks to the clarity and transparency in the records that the Blockchain offers. With the records made in the Blockchain’s non-manipulable system, much more reliable and safe logistics follow-ups can be carried out, shipments can be traced at all times and costs can be reduced.
This report emphasizes several positive aspects of the Blockchain that it would put key information in the hands of the authorities. This would also help with taxation. Very precise databases would be generated that will serve to make the supply chains more efficient through massive data. It will be possible to avoid the current situation in which criminals can alter the records that are made in situ at each point in the chain. And transparency will be gained through Decentralization. Several indications of the report are important to present in its official text.
“[The EU trade policy] considers that blockchain could enable customs authorities to automatically obtain the required information for a customs declaration, reduce the need for manual verification and paper trails, and provide a precise update on the status and characteristics of goods entering the EU to all relevant parties simultaneously, thus improving track-and-trace capabilities and transparency. “
“The adoption of blockchain technologies throughout the supply chain can increase the efficiency, speed and volume of global trade by limiting the costs associated with international transactions and assisting business to identify new trading partners, and can lead to increased consumer protection and confidence in digital trade “
“[The EU trade policy] criminals can manipulate the legitimate trade to mask their illicit activities, such as TBML, by tampering with the necessary documentation by means of false reporting, such as overvaluation or undervaluation of the good concerned; and other authorities to take necessary actions in a timely, prompt and coordinated manner to expose illicit financial flows “.
“Underlines that blockchain represents a new paradigm of data storage and management that is capable of decentralising forms of human interaction, markets, banking and international trade; emphasizes that the rise of blockchain presents both opportunities and challenges in terms of data protection, transparency and financial crime, as the data is immutable once it has been input and is shared with all participating parties, which also ensures its security and integrity; requests that everything possible be done, including at the national level, to guarantee the non-falsifiable and immutable character of the technology and to ensure that the fundamental right to data protection is not put at risk “.
This report brings new hope also for small and medium enterprises. The ability of the Blockchain to create new businesses or to help with growth and innovation in existing businesses is recognized. An essential point that this report highlights is the benefit that the use of Smart Contracts could bring to the many businesses in the world. Although the report recommends that development and maturation of this technology is required, it positions it as an essential option element in the new business tools.
“Highlights the benefits blockchain could bring to SMEs by allowing peer-to-peer communication, collaboration tools and secure payments, increasing the ease of doing business and reducing the risk of non-payment and legal procedure costs of contract fulfilment through the use of smart contracts; recognises the need to ensure that the development of blockchain in international trade includes SMEs; highlights that, at the moment, smart contracts may not be sufficiently mature to be considered legally enforceable within any sectoral regulation and further assessment of risks is needed”.
It is very important to note that the Commission that drafted this report is also concerned about a sensitive issue regarding the protection of the citizens of the European Community. It is the subject of the protection of personal data. The commission has added a paragraph in which it is recommended not to process personal data in the Blockchain yet until the whole subject of correct protection is studied in depth.
“In order to prevent the infringement of the fundamental right to the protection of personal data, blockchain technology should be used for the processing of personal data until the user organization concerned is in a position to guarantee compliance with the GDPR and to specifically ensure that The rights to the rectification and erasure of data are protected. ” “In cases where the blockchain contains personal data, the immutable nature of some blockchain technologies is likely to be incompatible with the ‘right to erasure’ set out in Article 17 of the GDPR.”
In general, however, for the Commission, the Blockchain must be seen as a technology that must be developed and that can offer Europe development and leadership worldwide. “Calls for the European Union and its Members States to play leading role in the process of standardization and security of blockchain, and to work with international partners and all relevant stakeholders and industries to develop blockchain standards”. “Reminds the Commission that the EU has an opportunity to become a leading actor in the field of blockchain and international trade, and that should be an influential actor in shaping its development globally, together with international partners”.