Last month, the European Commission sponsored a congregation of industry leaders, tech disruptors, regulators, and policy makers to launch the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) in Brussels.

The INATBA aims to promote blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLTs) in the European Union through maintaining and encouraging discussions with institutional regulators. To bridge the gap between blockchain use and innovation, INATBA was created to ultimately negotiate a global model of governance and establish standards in blockchain technology. European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said at the launch: “In today’s economy, there is less and less time to build trust in the way it happened in the past. To fight cancer, to balance renewable energy, to trace the authenticity of goods, actors must be able to trust one another without meeting face-to-face. And how can we achieve this? Of course, with the help of blockchain.”

Blockchain and DLTs are distributed database technologies that provide more security and transparent platforms for different applications. Transactions made through blockchain are permanent, comprehensive and either public or private. io-markets subsidiary edeXa.io will offer both: a private consortium blockchain and a public blockchain for connecting with customers. Given that this emerging technology is mainly decentralised, INATBA provides a much needed framework for a viable regulatory oversight that could foster its growth rather than impede it.

The need for INATBA is due to the increasing use of blockchain in different industries across the world. This ranges from finance and manufacturing, to healthcare and especially supply chain management. edeXa Blockchain demonstrates how this technology can improve traceability in supply chain management and offers a wide range of new business models. Its capability to seamlessly and accurately track products and issue warranty claims in the entire supply chain is truly unprecedented and only possible with the use of blockchain.

In an industry largely dependent on contracts and secured documentation, blockchain technology is also disrupting the logistics industry. Danish company Maersk Line released a blockchain proof of concept in 2016 that it says will bring down transportation costs by 20%. This shows how blockchain will be able to improve on systems that logistics companies across the world are already using. edeXa aims to improve efficiency even further along with all business processes. In Australia for example, fleet companies use a central storage for digital forms and scheduling. Verizon Connect AU details that data entry errors are minimised by having everything in a single digital place. This shows some of the great potentials. io-market and edeXa will connect business and customers on the supply chain. Blockchain applications will be able to improve efficiency by storing information on digital ledgers and thus offering more security and transparency.

As blockchain adoption increases the need for better regulations also increases. Without regulatory initiatives like the INATBA, blockchain will unable to grow. Through the INATBA “regulators and policymakers can interact with corporations and startups to develop the necessary regulatory incentives for the technology to evolve.” While the formation of the INATBA represents a leap forward in fostering an enabling environment for blockchain development, it still has a long way to go in determining how much and to what extent should the technology be regulated. We at io-market are looking forward to a strongly growing adoption of Blockchain in ever more companies and see this trend even stronger as international organizations like INATBA are formed.

– Sandy Peters
(Guest author)