Two major banking groups have joined the EU International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA) a forum set up with the aim of gaining support for the European Union’s blockchain strategy.
Representatives of BBVA and Banco Santander, say the two Spanish banking groups were invited to an EU blockchain roundtable held in Brussels by Mariya Gabriel, the commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, and Roberto Viola, director of the EU Department of Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
During the meeting officials revealed that the IATBA will be launched by the European Commission in the first financial quarter of 2019. The main aim of the association is to develop EU blockchain regulation, along with preparing the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications.
BBVA and Santander are among the first five banks invited to join IATBA. The other members of the association have not yet been disclosed.
International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications is an initiative promoted by the European Blockchain Partnership — a collaboration of 27 EU countries, including UK, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland.
The aim is to establish “a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure that will support the delivery of cross-border digital public services, with the highest standards of security and privacy.”
While the CEO of BBVA has previously noted some of the challenges and limitations of blockchain technology, the firm has already tested several blockchain solutions. In June, the bank partnered with Spanish energy company Repsol to test different blockchain technologies, namely Hyperledger and Ethereum.
Most recently, BBVA carried out a $150 million loan on a private blockchain network through a group of three funding banks including French banking group BNP Paribas and Japan’s bank holding Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.