Blockchain has the potential to be one of the most disruptive technologies across Europe, and the global economy at large, given its extensive applications. We believe that public and private sector initiatives formulating in Europe can mitigate some of its current growing pains such as performance and energy efficiency.

PwC expects Europe’s blockchain market to make a significant leap, growing from $2bn in 2021 to $150bn by 2030.1 Firms in Europe are projected to spend about $614m in 2022 versus China’s $319m.2

Logistics and tracking and tracing of products and services have the largest economic potential. Blockchain technology could provide companies, investors, and policymakers critical information to guide sustainable investment and implementation of measures outlined in the European Green Deal.

As far as adoption, certain countries have been quicker than others to embrace the technology.

Core European countries such as Germany and France have advanced regulatory frameworks in place for widespread blockchain adoption, but they have yet to implement comprehensive applications. As a result, we believe these countries present significant blockchain investment opportunities.

The current legal environment is a major obstacle to integration, but the EC is developing a pro-innovation legal framework for digital assets and smart contracts that protects consumers and provides legal certainty for businesses. By ensuring consumer and investor protection, we believe private investment in the space could increase exponentially.3

In 2021, the EC announced a proposal to create a unified digital identification system in Europe, through European Digital Identity Wallets. European citizens would be able to send, receive or share digital documents, not only their ID or driving license but also medical records, bank cards or even university degree titles.

The EU has been funding blockchain research and innovation through the €180m Horizon Europe programme since 2016. More recently, the EC announced a €700m programme to support investments in the tech sector.

We believe that intergovernmental support coupled with private investment create strong tailwinds for the rapid adoption of blockchain technology across EuropeThey can pave the way for start-ups building the European blockchain, expanding DLTs and calling attention to this disruptive theme.

  1. Blockchain technologies could boost the UK economy by £57 billion by 2030 (pwc.co.uk)
  2. Source: IDC; cointelegraph.com, March 2019 (Projected spending on blockchain by region 2022 | Statista)
  3. Blockchain in Europe | CBI