Lawmakers in Berlin, Germany are proposing a government-run electronic register that will regulate the blockchain sector. The proposal could impact everything from cars to pharmaceuticals, as players in different industries move their market processes onto blockchain-based platforms.
According to a report by Reuters, the guidelines are part of Germany’s blockchain strategy, established in March of 2018 under Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany’s justice and finance ministries say their efforts are underway and they’re planning to revamp the sector, targeting measures to minimize fraud and abuse, and to protect investors. The ministries aren’t waiting on the European Union to craft a comprehensive strategy – a process that could take years.
Proposals to change electronic bonds and digital stocks are also up for review. If approved, new regulations could remove requirements for tangible, physical certificates and documents that represent financial instruments.
Germany is the largest national economy in Europe. It has the fourth largest economy in the world by GDP, trailing the US, China and Japan. The move is another step to transform the global economy, based on increasingly outdated systems that require intermediaries and redundant paper documentation, into a digital economy.
In 2018, Ethereum and ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin named Berlin as the most important city in blockchain, citing its infrastructure and talented programmers. Leading blockchain companies such as Ethereum, Bitwala and Parity tap local talent to fill positions for blockchain engineers and crypto experts.
In Europe, blockchain initiatives and regulations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, among other countries, are developing along with the evolving sector, regardless of the European Union and its efforts to build a cohesive blockchain strategy. Similarly in the US, states such as Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Hampshire and Ohio have moved ahead of the federal government, with state lawmakers declining to wait for a comprehensive strategy from federal regulators.