So the Blockster team decided to take a closer look at this issue with the help of Tanja Bivic Plankar, President of the European Blockchain Alliance, one of the most influential and cutting-edge organizations. European Blockchain Alliance aims to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain and digital assets and make a dialogue between technological companies, traditional institutions, and regulators possible.
Blockster: How has your outstanding communications experience helped you in a leadership position at Blockchain Alliance Europe? Why have you chosen exactly this matter?
Tanja Bivic: I was a part of the marketing team of several blockchain startups. I am also a permanent team member of the IT company, the “early adopter,” developing blockchain solutions since 2015. That is how I’ve got a broader view of the different blockchain technology use cases, and that is why the founding members of Blockchain Alliance Europe elected me as a president.
I first got engaged in blockchain and crypto in 2016 when the Ethereum DAO hack happened. When I dug a bit deeper, I was convinced that we were on the verge of another digital revolution- that still lasts till today.
Blockster: What is your organisation’s main aim in terms of blockchain integration? Are you more focused on supporting local startups or taking part in global initiatives?
Tanja Bivic: Our main goal is the mass adoption of blockchain technology and crypto-assets. Right now, our primary focus is education on several levels: traditional industry and other professionals, regulators and the interested public. One of the goals is also an open dialogue between blockchain technology-oriented companies, traditional industries and regulators and building a supporting ecosystem. So yes, we are taking part mainly in EU initiatives, and we are connecting with other similar organisations throughout Europe. We also believe that it is essential to support quality blockchain projects.
Blockster: Can we say that you act as a liaison between representatives of the blockchain industry and regulatory institutions?
Tanja Bivic: As blockchain technology experts, our members provide the knowledge needed to understand blockchain technology use-cases across industries on local, European, and global levels. The problem might be regulation induced from top-down without proper understanding of technology and the consequences of a specific law or directive. A regulation used for centralised systems usually cannot be directly applied to decentralised systems.
Blockster: From your point of view, what is the primary condition for the global implementation of the blockchain?
Tanja Bivic: Education is the key to mass adoption, quality information proofed by experts. Right now, we are still witnessing that bitcoin is a synonym for blockchain and the opportunistic aspect of crypto assets is the one that gets all the focus from media. Yes, true, the financial use case of blockchain is the first and most developed, but there are use cases, for example, in the energy sector, supply chain and fair and safe data exchange, that are extremely important and will have an immense impact on our lives.
Blockster: This question may seem similar, but it is as much important. What is the main obstacle to mass adoption of cryptocurrency and broader use of blockchain?
Tanja Bivic: There are no obstacles, to be frank. Adoption takes time, and the adoption of every new idea goes through the same cycle and different stages. Fear, ridicule, misconceptions, scams and hype are a part of the mass adoption of progressive ideas or new technologies. It is still early in the blockchain.
Blockster: How do you assess the current conditions for blockchain integration in the EU? What is the next major step towards the broader implementation of blockchain technologies?
Tanja Bivic: In 2018 European blockchain partnership (EBP) was formed to establish European blockchain infrastructure (EBSI) for public services. There are several working groups for different use cases: SSI, diplomas, traceability and trusted data sharing. In my opinion, EBSI has a vital role in terms of the implementation of blockchain technologies.
The next major step is the critical mass of blockchain technology projects used in our everyday lives. More working apps and platforms powered by blockchain technology mean more interest for implementation.
Blockster: In what direction is the dialogue with the Slovenian financial regulator moving? Have you already managed to start cooperation and get support?
Tanja Bivic: If you refer to the taxation of the individuals, the new law is in preparation, and it will impact the Slovenian crypto community. We have established a dialogue, but I cannot comment on the outcome since we are still in the middle of the process. Hopefully, the new law will bring the needed legal clarity and legal certainty.
More impact on the industry will have a new EU directive known as Markets in Crypto-assets Act or MICA that will have a massive influence on the digital asset landscape in Europe. The dialogue with experts and industry is established through expert groups and expert initiatives on the EU level; Blockchain Alliance Europe participated and co-organised some of the debates.
Blockster: What are some of the Alliance’s most notable accomplishments you can share?
Tanja Bivic: Blockchain Alliance Europe has done a lot in terms of education, from webinars to events, masterclasses. We are also a platform for promoting quality blockchain projects, and we are well connected in the ecosystem through our network of partners. With one of our partners, we also help startups discover suitable EU grants and tenders and help them with the application. Blockchain Business Network is also one of the projects that we are proud of. The Blockchain Alliance Europe is establishing the first example of Business Blockchain Network (BBN) in Slovenia, intending to bring technology closer to companies and organisations through application cases, thus making sense of its purpose, role, and operation in society.
Blockster: Could you tell me more about your partnerships with other international blockchain organisations? The most interesting is your partnership with Blockchain Fest.
Tanja Bivic: As one of our focuses is education about blockchain technology, partnerships with event organisers are essential. We believe that the Blockchain Fest will bring together all the crucial stakeholders in the blockchain space and many curious audiences.
Blockster: What is the overall goal or direction of the Alliance that you have chosen for this decade?
Tanja Bivic: We are contributing to the mass adoption of blockchain technology, our most crucial overall goal.