"The Commission has not just discovered blockchain. We have been funding blockchain projects since 2013. The total support will soon reach 100 million euros [some $124 million]," Gabriel said.
The official added that the support could "go beyond" 300 million euros in the near future.
Launch of the EU #Blockchain Observatory & Forum w/ @jakob_eu @ethereumJoseph — Blockchain technologies offer a wide horizon of opportunities that impact our daily lives by shaping the future of #security #trust #traceability meaning better services & products for citizens pic.twitter.com/a7GeBQVBqt— Mariya Gabriel (@GabrielMariya) 1 февраля 2018 г.
The European Union has a number of research programs, such as FP7 and Horizon 2020, which are engaged in the development of blockchain technologies. According to the European Commission's press service, the EU institution could fund projects that could draw on blockchain technologies for up to 340 million euros by 2020.
Blockchain technology is a system of organization of distributed databases. It allows for various transactions to be registered and labeled with a time stamp, with the relevant information kept in a distributed database available to all network users. One of the most well-known applications of the technology is Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptocurrency, and digital payment system.