On February 15, the European Commission made the announcement that it will be launching the European Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox. The regulatory sandbox will serve as a forum for discussion around 20 new projects each year until the year 2026.
The sandbox was first announced in the year 2020, and it is now being managed by a number of private companies who were successful in winning bids in the year 2022. The Digital Europe Program will be responsible for providing the funding. Use cases from the public and commercial sectors that include “Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies” will be considered for the selection of projects, which will be done on a competitive basis by an impartial panel of academic experts.
Applicants from the public sector that have initiatives relating to the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) will be taken into consideration. The European Blockchain Standard Initiative (EBSI) is a pan-European blockchain that is managed by a coalition of EU nations, together with Norway and Lichtenstein.
Participants in the yearly sandbox cohort will be paired with national and European Union regulators in order to get private legal counsel and regulatory assistance. At the same time, regulators will have the chance to become familiar with cutting-edge blockchain technology.
The deadline for applications to participate in the first round of projects is April 14. The projects need to have a proof of concept that has been verified according to the standards, and they need to have a dimension that crosses borders.
The projects that have already been selected for deployment by public authorities will be given precedence. The European Economic Area is where a company’s headquarters should be located (EEA). As long as the EEA-based firm is the one to ultimately benefit from the initiative, these companies are allowed to work in partnership with enterprises headquartered outside of the EEA. Participants should not expect to have any of their costs repaid.
The chosen projects will each be provided with a written legal evaluation, which will be followed by two virtual meetings with the involved regulators. Additionally, applications are being accepted for the EBSI Early Adopters incubator program, which is now in its third cohort.
In the Financial Services Innovation bill that was being introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Patrick McHenry, a comparable sandbox program was suggested. In the next iteration of the United Kingdom’s changes to its financial services industry, a sandbox program of a similar kind may also be included.