Published On: Wed, Apr 3rd, 2024
World | 2,471 views

EU wastes £51m on project no one uses as bloc desperately tries to revive project | World | News

A European Union fintech project, the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure Consortium (EBSI), has come under scrutiny after amassing €60 million (£51 million) in development costs with little to show for it.

Despite dwindling interest and effectiveness, the project has found a surprising revival under Belgium’s digitalisation minister and European Council President Charles Michel’s brother, Mathieu Michel, who aims to rebrand it.

Originally envisioned as a groundbreaking initiative to leverage blockchain technology for enhancing the EU’s digital infrastructure, EBSI struggled to gain traction amidst waning enthusiasm for blockchain projects.

However, Michel, spurred by personal interest and a desire to leave a mark during Belgium’s EU presidency, has spearheaded efforts to breathe new life into the floundering project.

Under the guise of a potential “metaverse” evolution, Michel has garnered support from around a dozen EU member states for a revamped version of the project.

Despite concerns over vague objectives and uncertain outcomes, Michel remains optimistic about the project’s potential, citing his belief in blockchain technology’s eventual success.

EBSI’s journey has been marked by challenges, including legal constraints, lack of interest from member countries, and diminishing support from the European Commission. With funding slashed and usage limited, the project appeared destined to fade into obscurity.

Michel’s vision to rebrand EBSI as “Europeum” for the metaverse has injected new hope, yet sceptics question the project’s feasibility without robust support from key players like France and Germany.

As Belgium’s presidency draws to a close, uncertainty looms over the project’s future, with doubts about its sustainability and potential for success in the absence of substantial funding and clear objectives.

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