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article imageEU publishes draft laws to boost fintech and blockchain

By James Walker     Mar 8, 2018 in Technology
The European Union has proposed draft laws for fintech, crowdfunding and blockchain in an attempt to make itself attractive to new start-ups. The European Commission said it wants to create a "competitive and innovative" financial market using fintech.
Crowdfunding license
The plans were first reported by Reuters earlier this week and were publicly announced today. The EU has developed an action plan intended to encourage fintech startups to establish themselves within the bloc. With Britain preparing to leave the EU next year, leaders in Brussels are trying to find ways of enticing startups to choose Europe over fintech hubs situated in the UK.
The plan targets technologies including artificial intelligence, cloud services and blockchain. It also looks at ways of making the markets safer and more accessible to new companies. This includes rules for crowdfunding to help platforms scale within Europe. The Commission plans to create a "crowdfunding license" that would enable providers to operate across the entire bloc under one set of regulations.
According to the Commission, new fintech rules are necessary to progress the finance industry and protect the markets. While it's currently not looking to introduce broad regulation, the European Commission wants to ensure fintech providers comply with market standards and are able to succeed. Some of the proposals target specific concerns around the fintech industry, including the susceptibility of fintech platforms to hacking and data loss.
Game-changing tech
The European Union's Digital Economy and Society Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel, said new technologies could be "game changers" for the financial markets. However, the rapid pace of change in fintech has made it difficult to manage risks and keep consumers safe. The proposed laws are designed to create a "framework" that benefits everyone in the industry.
"Digital technologies have an impact on our whole economy – citizens and businesses alike," said Gabriel. "Technologies like blockchain can be game changers for financial services and beyond. We need to build an enabling framework to let innovation flourish, while managing risks and protecting consumers."
In total, the plan sets out 23 steps to encourage the adoption and growth of new financial business models. The EU is now preparing to host a series of laboratories and workshops to engage industry members and improve education on best practices. The Commission will also consult on the best ways to promote digitisation of information, helping investors make informed decisions.
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