2021: Highlights from an Incredibly Productive Year at INATBA

By INATBA Executive Director, Marc Taverner

As another year draws to a close, I want to take the time to showcase some of the work INATBA has accomplished with support from its incredible members over the past 12 months. It has been another year of uncertain times, but together we focused on digital ways of working to make significant progress in our role as global convener of the blockchain ecosystem. Here are just a few highlights from our impactful year.

Global Expansion

While we were established as the global convener of the blockchain ecosystem, our founding by the European Commission meant that many of our members were from the European and North American continents. Over the past year, we have worked diligently to welcome new members from different geographies (more on that below) and build relationships with regional associations to expand our global reach. We signed Memorandums of Understanding with organisations like Blockchain Alliance Singapore, Blockchain Australia, VCHub Italia and India Blockchain Association to co-host events and convene policy discussions on the timely topic of regulation. We partnered with Abu Dhabi Global Market to kick-start INATBA’s growth in the MENA region. We are meeting with countless other associations and companies to ensure that our membership reflects the diversity of the industry it convenes.

New Members

With this geographical expansion came new members. After hiring our first designated Business Development team member at the tail end of 2020, we focused on developing a robust recruitment strategy to simultaneously bring new members to the association while also ensuring our existing members continue to feel engaged and excited to be part of our work. We are proud to have welcomed 44 new members in 2021, more than double that joined us in 2020, and are eager to see that number grow in the year ahead.

Events, Reports and Policy Engagement

2021 was a momentous year for innovation in the DLT industry. Topics like NFTs and DeFi dominated the space, even reaching mainstream media, which helped attract new enthusiasts to the world of blockchain. As this incredible innovation was occurring, policymakers in countries around the world were also hard at work developing regulatory models that could engage with and support the growth of the DLT industry. Our Working Groups responded to more than six policy consultations, held numerous bilaterals and presented use cases & evidence during the year on topics ranging from the design of education strategies across Europe to supply chain insights at the G7, the design of the digital euro at the European Central Bank, NFTs for public use cases at the European Commission, sustainability with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan, Social Impact and Sustainability at the Slovenian Presidency’s European Blockchain Week, NFTs and blockchain to support the UN SDGs at COP26 and peer-to-peer energy trading with the Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption and Transactive Energy Models.

INATBA made a positive impact and secured high profile recognition through our intensive MiCA and PRR activities. INATBA has developed relationships to ensure that members receive exceptionally valuable, non-public insights, information and documentation on these files as they develop through the Parliamentary process. We are particularly proud to have seen a number of our policy positions on the Digital Finance Package, developed by our members, reflected in the most recent version of MiCA and the final text of the Pilot Regime.

In addition to MiCA, INATBA Working Groups have published reports leading the industry in terms of commentary on blockchain education, the use of UOIs in the built environment, privacy regulations across jurisdictions worldwide and governance-related challenges for blockchain-based climate action applications. We published a report on Blockchain for Social Impact and held subsequent events led by our Social Impact Working Group that established calls to action on this vital topic. Two of our members spoke at United Nations COP26 events related directly to social impact and climate action, and we co-hosted a workshop on Blockchain for Social Impact with the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum this past month.

There are numerous other areas our members are actively developing. Our Identity Working Group has been working closely with stakeholders including EBSI and on a policy position for eIDAS 2.0. Members from our Academic Advisory Body and Working Groups continue to work on CHAISE, a pan-European project that will develop the strategy for increasing blockchain skills across Europe. Our Standards Committee collaborated with the European Commission to host a full-day blockchain standards workshop with contributors from national governments and global standards-setting bodies. We are excited about what the future holds for the industry and stand ready to promote mainstream adoption and good governance.

To all INATBA Members, we could not have accomplished any of the above without your unwavering support. We look forward to continuing our work in the blockchain ecosystem and would like to extend our holiday and new year greetings to the industry.