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From Savoy to Savvy: Blockchain technology crucial to Italy’s economic progress

(July 24, 2020) — What does a one billion euro fund injected by the Ministry of Economic Development? Labour and Social Policies mean for Italy? It is all about the complete digitization of the country by encouraging innovation, emphasizing heavily on blockchain initiatives including cryptocurrency and AI solutions. The Italian millennials were eyed to benefit much from this investment for them not to leave Italy. The Italian Senate was driven to amend laws that made terms “smart contracts” and “distributed ledger” parts of Italian legislation and administration. To further emphasize, Italy joined the European Blockchain Association, standing tall as the first country in Europe to use blockchain to mainly support “Made in Italy” initiatives. Prior to these, a panel of 30 experts was convened to strategize a cohesive blockchain development covering aspects of public administration and the industry. All of these were led by the visionary leadership of Luigi di Maio, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, who used his influential economic powers to implement game-changing blockchain advocacy that he saw will spur the Italian economy to new heights. Political leader and founder of the Five Star Movement bloc Beppe Grillo said that “the Web is revolutionizing the relationship between citizens and institutions making direct democracy feasible,”1 referring to concepts of blockchain being applied to political accountabilities.

Grillo stated that it should be the citizens and the local community who govern cities through the Internet, using collective intelligence. Well then, let us scrutinize important statistical data recently released by Statista giving a general outlook on how Italians perceive the blockchain revolution as of 2019.

About 7 out of 10 Italians believed that blockchain was an important technology for their country’s economic development. The opinion of company managers at this level counted higher at 79%. Meanwhile, around 40% of Italians thought that distributed ledgers were associated with tools for monetary and financial transactions like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 1/3 of the populace believed that one of the blockchain’s main application is cybersecurity, with 18% confident that the blockchain technology is set to level off organized crime.

With the Ministry of Economic Development fixated to include all Italians in crafting provisions for a competitive market landscape, it launched a public consultation on June 18, 2020 seeking recommendations on the use of Distributed Ledger Technology and blockchain in different fields of endeavor especially in the financial industry, including regulatory banking. The recommendations were sought concerning FinTech, digital payments. AML/KYC, ICO/STO, crypto assets, and the possibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency for greater and cost-effective management of cashflow, among others.

the serious considerations of Italian authorities to embark on such lofty blockchain projects only deserve commendation knowing how culturally down-to-earth Italians are who value traditions and heritage. As Italy is a perennial tourist-drawing nation, it is but natural to open its borders to integrated fintech capabilities without, of course, disregarding an all-important EU dialogue on matters that require a regional consensus to overcome imminent challenges.

1 (As Far Right In Italy Rises, A Blockchain-Friendly …. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerhuang/2019/08/13/as-far-right-in-italy-rises-a-blockchain-friendly-government-teeters/)

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