Benoit Abeloos

Policy officer Blockchain DG Connect, European Commission

ICT engineer with an MBA, Benoit is policy officer in the startups and innovation unit of DG Connect. He is part of the Blockchain and FinTech team where he leads the standardisation and interoperability aspects and is actively contributing to the EU Blockchain initiative. He chairs the Interoperability and Standardisation Work Stream of the EU FinTech Task force. He is member of the ISO Technical Committee 307 on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies and coordinates Commission’s inputs. He also participates to ITU-T Focus Group on Applications for Blockchain. He worked previously as Policy Officer at the Health and Wellbeing Unit of DG Connect, where he was in charge of standardisation and of the epSOS large scale pilot project. Before joining the Commission, Benoit held different executive positions in ICT startups, in Amadeus, the technology partner of the travel industry, and in Belgacom, the Belgian Telecommunication incumbent.



What about standards and interoperability issues? How does Europe look at Blockchain?

The Commission has launched the EU Observatory and Forum on Blockchain on 1st February 2018 as an important milestone of an EU blockchain initiative. Another important action will be the feasibility study on an EU blockchain infrastructure, due to start during spring 2018. It is also exploring the use of distributed ledger technologies in relation to its policies. In this new reality and a digital market where the stance ‘the winner takes it all’ has too often become a standard, it is important for the European Commission to put in place policies avoiding the emergence of de facto standards, which may limit competition and keep customers, (public and private) locked with single vendors. Moreover, it will be very difficult for service providers to develop applications and services which can seamlessly operate on different platforms, and across the borders, if they are proprietary. That is why the Commission is devoting resources and contributes to international standardisation through ISO Technical Committee 307 and ITU-T Focus Group on Applications for Distributed Ledger Technologies.



11:00 – 11:30