Crypto Mecca Germany? The Blockchain Strategy of the Federal Government | BTC-ECHO
The Federal Government has adopted its "Blockchain-Stragie" for the Federal Republic of Germany. In the position paper available to CriptomonedaseICO, the Federal Government outlines its future dealings with the opportunities and challenges associated with the proliferation of Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger (DLT) technologies.
With its blockchain strategy, the German government wants to expand Germany's "leading position" (sic) as:
Germany should be an attractive location for the development of blockchain applications and investments in their scaling. At the same time, it will enable large companies, SMEs and start-ups, as well as the public sector, countries, civil society organizations and citizens, to make informed decisions about the use of technology.
The Federal Government's blockchain strategy covers five areas. These include the blockchain in the financial sector, the promotion of innovative non-financial blockchain projects, legal frameworks, digitized administrative services and the dissemination of blockchain know-how.
Blockchain strategy should open German law for digital securities
The Federal Government would like to relax the binding paper form that has increasingly degenerated into anachronism in the era of digitization in the creation of (civil) securities.
The Federal Government aims to open German law for electronic securities. The current compulsory specification of the documentary embodiment of securities (ie paper form) should no longer apply without restriction. The regulation of electronic securities should be technology-neutral, so that in the future electronic securities can also be issued on a blockchain
Government wants to take ICOs and wallet providers to the curb
The blockchain strategy envisages a draft law this year, which regulates the issuance of certain types of crypto-tokens in the form of an initial coin offerings. The focus will then be on investor protection and the creation of legal certainty. In future, ICOs may need the regulatory blessing of BaFin:
Thus, it could be legally ensured that a public offer may only be made for certain crypto-tokens to be defined if the provider has previously published an information sheet prepared in accordance with statutory provisions 206, the publication of which was authorized by BaFin 207 (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin).
Another bill already passed at the end of July stipulates that providers of crypto-wallets must also obtain a BaFin approval. However, the draft is limited to so-called custody wallets. These are crypto-wallets, where the wallet provider and not the user has access to private keys of the crypto-deposits.
Libra no, central bank coin: maybe
The German government wants to prevent stable coins like Facebook's planned "Libra" from offering an alternative to fiat money. The government wants to represent this position at European and international level. The government does not provide a justification for this decision. For this she suggests to want to further illuminate the topic of digital central bank money:
The Federal Government will work at European and international level to ensure that stablecoins are not an alternative to government currencies. At the same time, the Federal Government will continue to expand its existing dialogue with the Deutsche Bundesbank on digital central bank money in order to explore the current state of development.
No part of the blockchain strategy: Regulatory Sandboxes
To promote innovations in the field of Blockchain and other DLTs, the federal government wants to set up so-called "real laboratories":
Particularly in the case of new technologies, such as blockchain technology, pilot projects and real laboratories offer an ideal opportunity to test the use of technology in practice as well as regulatory approaches
As a result of the consultation process on the blockchain strategy, the federal government has decided to "systematically establish real laboratories in Germany". However, a regulatory sandbox, such as those in Great Britain or South Korea, does not include the blockchain strategy.
Furthermore, the Federal Government plans to support DAOs within the framework of funding programs and to envisage the creation of legal framework conditions for the new form of cooperation.
Blockchain in the Bürgeramt: digitized administrative services
Also in the area of administrative services, the state wants to shed more light on the potential of blockchain technology. The blockchain implementation in administrative processes should not be an end in itself. Instead, the government only considers its application in the case of an advantage compared to existing or competing solutions.
Promising areas of application include, for example, the vehicle attitude or the digitally verified verification of often decentralized original documents, such as certificates and certificates.
The Federal Government also sees opportunities for the Blockchain for the field of application of digital identity. The technology, among other approaches, is investigated according to the principle of technology neutrality:
The federal government is piloting blockchain-based digital identities. It will examine whether these blockchain-based digital identities promise clear added value over existing solutions and whether they can be designed to comply with data protection regulations. Here also suitable further applications are evaluated.
However, there is a conflict here with the pan-European eIDAS regulation regulating digital trust services. This provides centralized operators for eIDAS infrastructures – an approach that is difficult to reconcile with the decentralization of a public block chain.
Creating standards as a central concern
According to the Federal Government, the consultation process on the Blockchain strategy has shown that there is a great demand on the part of respondents for standardized interfaces, standards and certificates that facilitate companies' access to the blockchain market. This falls all the easier, if
the standards and standards are applied European and international. Especially with Smart Contracts (…) additional transparency is required.
That's why the consultation process called for state-certified smart contracts. The federal government is now looking at the possibility of a standardized audit process for smart contracts that companies can use "to increase their confidence in blockchain technology and (…) smart contracts".
Energy industry: Federal government plans state register for smart contracts
The blockchain strategy places special emphasis on the energy sector. Among other things, the Federal Government plans to set up a cross-technology "piloting laboratory". In it, representatives of the energy industry, society and authorities will jointly identify the opportunities and risks of new technologies in the energy sector. The government also plans to establish a central smart contract register for the energy industry:
Especially in the energy industry, smart contracts have great potential for automation and increased efficiency. All the more important is the transformation of contractual relationships into digital language or digital code. The Federal Government will therefore start promptly with the establishment of a register, which lists the contractual issues of the energy industry and thus enable the collection and systemisation of smart contracts,
it says in the position paper.
Which of its more than 40 planned measures – which sometimes have the character of a non-binding declaration of intent – are ultimately implemented, remains the same. The same applies to the question of whether national regulation can do justice to a global technology.
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