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The EU Has Now Invested Over €5 Million in Blockchain Startups

The European Union has invested more than €5 million (around $6 million) in startups that are working on various projects involving blockchain.

So far, six startups developing or researching applications of the tech have received funding through the Horizon 2020 innovation initiative, according to publicly available data.

Last week, the European Commission’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Group detailed the work being done by three startups – Signaturit, Authenteq and The Billon Group – to develop services around digital identity and payments, among other use cases.

Horizon 2020 data indicates that the EU has contributed €5,471,131 in funding to the group of startups. Of those, three startups received more than €1 million apiece, while three others received €50,000 each.

The initiative has become one of the focal points for the bloc’s work with blockchain. Last month, the European Commission (the EU’s executive arm) said that it was planning to create a “Blockchains for Social Good” competition that would operate in conjunction with Horizon 2020. Researchers in Europe have also looked to the program to fund cryptocurrency-related projects.

Earlier this year, the European Commission also began laying the foundation for a so-called Blockchain Observatory that would act as a research and outreach office for its work with the tech.

EU flags image via Shutterstock

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LibraryChain? US Government Grants $100k for New Blockchain Research

The U.S. government has awarded a $100,000 grant to a group of researchers looking to apply blockchain to public library systems.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services was founded in the mid-’90s, with the aim of providing federal support to libraries and museums. Public records show that officials with the agency are funding a new effort at the San Jose State University Research Foundation, which seeks to conduct preliminary research into how blockchain tech could help libraries manage digital rights, as well better assist their communities.

The work being conducted isn’t exactly technical, however – rather, the funding will go to the planning of a forum event – buoyed by survey data and additional efforts – that would culminate with a topic on the applicability of blockchain to the library system.

As the grant document states:

“The proposed National Forum would bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project’s final report, which will be available online.”

Still, it’s the latest instance in which an element of the U.S. government has moved to fund research into the tech and its possible applications.

Whether recent legislative developments in Arizona come into play also remains to be seen. As previously reported by CoinDesk, lawmakers passed a bill this year recognizing blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law.

Library shelves image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].