EU set to invest $177B in blockchain and other novel technologies

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EU officials have set their sights on significant direct funding for emerging technologies including blockchain.

The European Union is reportedly looking to bolster technological development in the region with a planned $177 billion investment war chest.

According to Bloomberg, EU officials plan to fund direct investments in areas like blockchain, data infrastructure, 5G, and quantum computing, among others.

The planned $177 billion investment fund is about 20% of the 750 billion euros ($887 billion) stimulus package agreed upon by EU leaders back in July 2020 to kickstart economic recovery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stressed the importance of investing in digital technology for the entire region.

Indeed, part of the investment fund will go towards the manufacture of low-power processors as EU officials seek to prevent a recurrence of the semiconductor shortage that affected several industries worldwide.

While the EU has revealed its focus areas for the $177 billion technology investment fund, there is no information on the amount to be invested in each sector.

Related: Survey finds Europeans want home countries to regulate crypto, not EU

Earlier in September, the Iota Foundation, along with six other companies, was chosen to support the early-stage development of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure — an EU-wide distributed ledger technology project.

Back in April 2019, the EU launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications, which is tasked with supporting and promoting DLT adoption in the region.

Indeed, blockchain has been identified as one of the more important emerging technologies that could shape Europe’s future. Because of this, EU officials are pushing for region-wide legal standards to prevent regulatory fragmentation.

However, a recent survey has indicated that a majority of Europeans prefer national regulations for crypto and blockchain rather than a European regulatory standard for the emerging industry.

Meanwhile, the EU and the United States may soon begin to collaborate in the area of drafting standards for crypto and blockchain regulation.