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EU taps Protokol to develop blockchain-based credential verification system

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(Kitco News) - The integration of blockchain technology beyond finance continues to progress as the European Commission is looking to implement a system that verifies education and professional credentials across borders using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Protokol, a project that specializes in building custom Web3 solutions, products, and decentralized applications (dApps), has announced its involvement with the EBSI Vector project, “a European Union-funded initiative aimed at creating a secure, efficient and decentralized framework for exchanging and verifying digital educational and professional credentials across borders.”

EBSI Vector is a subset of the broader European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) initiative, focused on creating a trusted, interoperable framework for blockchain-based services across the EU.

Protokol has been selected for the project due to its expertise in blockchain technology and will help provide “crucial elements of the credential verification solution,” the announcement said. The ultimate goal of the project is to make it easier for EU citizens to have credentials such as diplomas and work experience “recognized and accepted in different countries, as well as to improve the efficiency and security of credential verification processes.”

The intent is to create a scalable solution that can be implemented across the bloc and is capable of incorporating other EU initiatives like the EU Digital ID scheme (EUeID) and the bloc’s sustainable development goals (SDG) “to provide the best possible solution for digital interaction between citizens and organizations.

“Our involvement in the EBSI VECTOR project aligns closely with our broader mission to create scalable and interoperable blockchain solutions that drive innovation and change,” said Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol.

The new project is the latest step in the EU’s ongoing effort to create a more open, secure and decentralized digital infrastructure for Europe that can serve as a model for the rest of the world. A consortium of partners across Europe is involved with EBSI Vector, including universities, research institutions, and technology companies. Each partner contributes their own unique expertise to help make the project a success.

Protokol’s contributions include the development of an open-source reference wallet that will allow legal entities that issue and verify credentials to interact with EBSI and the development of holder wallets that enable EU citizens to store their digital credentials.

“Other elements of the project that Protokol is involved in will include the testing and validation of eSSIF capabilities and assisting in the preparation of the implementation track for education businesses,” the announcement said.

“We’re excited to have Protokol onboard the EBSI VECTOR project,” said Daniël Du Seuil, Convenor European Self Sovereign Identity Framework (EBSI) at the EU Commission. “Their profound blockchain and Web3 expertise will be invaluable in our mission to enhance the digital credential verification process. Their commitment to innovation aligns perfectly with our goals for the EBSI infrastructure, and we anticipate their contribution to be pivotal in optimizing our services for a more secure and decentralized digital future in Europe.”

EU launches a new regulatory sandbox for DLT and warns banks to limit Bitcoin holdings

Europe has become one of the more welcoming jurisdictions for the implementation of blockchain technology. The EU is one of the first jurisdictions to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets with the signing of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) bill into law on May 31.

Under the text of the legislation, the issuance of cryptocurrencies will be brought under the wing of institutional regulation, and it establishes a new regime for crypto-asset service providers across the EU’s member states.

The legislation is comprehensive and far-reaching, and its implementation will be carried out in phases. Provisions related to stablecoins could come into force as soon as July 2024, while many of the other provisions won’t take effect until January 2025 at the earliest.

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