Applications are now open for the second cohort of the European Blockchain Sandbox

International law firm Bird & Bird and their consulting arm OXYGY today announce together with the European Commission that applications are now open for the second cohort of the European Blockchain Sandbox. Applications for the second cohort will remain open until 25th March 2024 at 23:59 CET.

Bird & Bird and OXYGY together with the European Commission are encouraging companies (including start-ups and scale-ups) and public entities from across the EU/EEA with innovative blockchain use cases to participate and be at the forefront of this dialogue and mutual learning experience. In 2023, the first cohort of twenty use cases faced a competitive applications process, following which use cases representing every EU/EEA region were selected to participate. For more information about the use cases involved in the first cohort, click here.

The three-year initiative supports 20 projects annually, with the first cohort starting in 2023, and is open to use cases across the EU/EEA based on any blockchain infrastructure. Blockchain use cases will be selected based on a number of criteria, including the maturity of their business case, legal/regulatory relevance and their contribution to the EU’s wider policy priorities. Selected use cases will be matched with national and EU regulators. Further information about the selection criteria and the application process can be found on the website. Companies (including start-ups and scale-ups) and public entities with a validated proof of concept are invited to participate. Every year, the most innovative regulator participating in the sandbox will be awarded a prize.

In addition to specialist legal and regulatory advice provided by Bird & Bird, blockchain companies participating in the sandbox will have the opportunity to discuss regulatory questions that are relevant for them in a safe and confidential environment with relevant regulators. Participating regulators and authorities will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of innovative blockchain solutions, discuss regulatory issues in a cross-border setting with other regulators, and contribute to the development of best practices at the intersection of innovation and regulation.

Marjolein Geus, chair of the international Tech & Comms group at Bird & Bird says: “Blockchain is one of the most topical innovations of recent years and is very relevant for all industry sectors. It is important for the further development of this innovation to have a dialogue around the regulatory challenges and questions arising and also to see where the solutions can be and how regulation can actually help these innovations.

Edoardo Monopoli, CEO at OXYGY adds: "The sandbox gives use case owners the chance to create relationships with national and EU regulators as well as the authorities. It also helps them develop a strong understanding of the regulatory landscape, create a network and raise their profile by being part of a very significant European project, and to have their voices heard when developing best practices around blockchain regulation."

The Best Practices Report for the first cohort in 2023 will be published in the coming weeks and will share the observations and lessons learned from the inaugural year of the European Blockchain Sandbox. Please keep an eye on the project website and social media for updates.

If you are interested in becoming a participant in the second cohort, please click here to apply and read the Application Terms which are available here.

Background

The European Blockchain Sandbox

The European blockchain regulatory sandbox for innovative use cases involving Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) is an initiative of the European Commission. The sandbox provides a confidential platform for innovative blockchain use cases to engage in discussions with national and EU regulators and authorities in order to enhance the understanding of novel regulatory issues, increase legal certainty and contribute to the development of best practices.

The Sandbox consortium

The pan-European sandbox is set up and operated by a consortium of legal experts from Bird & Bird and its consulting arm OXYGY, supported by blockchain experts Warren Brandeis (formerly WBNoDE) and by the web-designers Spindox, with use case selection verified by a panel of independent academics consisting of Professor Roman Beck (IT-University, Copenhagen), Professor Soulla Louca (University of Nicosia, Cyprus) and Professor Walter Blocher (University of Kassel).


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