A large sum of European funds was allocated to facilitate cryptocurrency and blockchain-related projects, and Italy and other countries on the continent will benefit from these initiatives. More than €180 million has already been invested in research and innovation initiatives in the blockchain industry. Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things are one of the sectors that have obtained the largest slice of European Union (EU) funding.
EU support for pilot developments and research initiatives in the distributed ledger (DLT) has particularly addressed about 11 key sectors in the region. Almost 50% of the resources went to initiatives centered on cybersecurity (26%) and internet of things ( IoT, by approx. 22 percent), followed by projects in the healthcare sector (19 percent).
Other targeted blockchain EU funded projects per sector and future technologies, including; digital economy/society; education; industrial technologies (9 percent); media (4 percent); NGI; e-identity; environment; and data management.
In connection with research and innovation projects, the European Union Commission, through the Horizon 2020 program, has financed numerous developments in which distributed ledger technology contribute to the emergence of new paradigms and technical and infrastructural solutions.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, political initiative to ensure the competitiveness of Member States – Italy is a member. The instrument serves the purposes of financing research, development and innovation going-ons including blockchain, cryptocurrency, internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI), smart contracts and others.
Another tool to support initiatives of this type is the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), whose funding is aimed at spreading the EU blockchain service infrastructure.
Also, in September last year, the Commission rolled out the European Blockchain Partnership, an initiative created to promote the exchange of skills and the development of this promising technology in the digital single market. Partnership of which Italy has conquered the leadership for a year, from July 2019 to July 2020, together with Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Still, in 2020, around €100 million from the European Investment Fund (EIF) will be reserved for venture capital funds that invest in startups dealing with DLT and AI.
Italy alone has invested billions and billions of money to different initiatives connected to cryptoasset and blockchain, examples include Industry 4.0, Made in Italy, etc. The country expects to have more than $14,000 billion in cryptocurrency investments by the year 2023.