The E.U. Unveils a €400M Blockchain, AI Investment Fund

  • A total of €100 million have been put together for the investment scheme, while another €300 million are expected to come from private investors.
  • Estimated to have spent $674 million on blockchain this year, Europe is second in the world, behind the U.S..
European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium

European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium. WindEurope

The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have set up a new fund for blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation, the EIF announced in a blog post on 20 November.

According to the announcement, the new fund was created to prevent the E.U. from falling behind countries such as the U.S. and China, and elevate Europe’s position as a home for blockchain and AI development.

The new investment scheme will make €100 million available to venture capital funds or other investors that “support AI and blockchain-based products and services”.

The EIF further stated that these are only “cornerstone” investments, and that it expects the fund to generate an additional €300 million from private investors “crowding in”.

As the scheme will also allow national promotional banks to co-invest, starting next year, the estimated total of the fund could raise even further. The EIF said in the blog post:

“Investing in a portfolio of innovative AI and blockchain companies will help develop a dynamic EU-wide investors community on AI and blockchain. By involving national promotional banks, we can scale up the volume of investments at a national level.”

The EIF has also stated that the vast majority of venture capital funds supporting blockchain technology are not located Europe, but are based elsewhere.

As such, many developers and entrepreneurs end up receiving financing from the U.S., or start working for U.S. companies, which often leads to the opportunities and economic growth associated with these technologies leaving the E.U..

Even though the E.U. is investing quite a bit in blockchain technology already, most of the investments are focused on research and proof-of-concept, while very little goes towards development and growth.

The aim of the new fund is to address this fact, and act as a catalyst for future investments into “large scale projects” in the E.U..

The EIF announcement further stated that Europe is the second highest spending region in the world, estimated to spend $674 million on blockchain technology in 2019, according to the International Data Corporation.

While the United States is first place, with an estimated spending of $1.1 billion, China has ranked third with $319 million.

Even though China is currently only in third place when it comes to spending on blockchain, the recent comments made by its president, Xi Jingping, could change that.

Last month Xi said that the technology has a wide range of applications within the country, and that China should accelerate its adoption of blockchain technology.

Related Coverage
EU Parliament Votes Down PoW Limiting Proposal
  • Тhе proposed change to the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework would have banned PoW cryptocurrencies across the EU’s 27 member states.
  • The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs instead voted in favor of a compromise, which calls on the European Commission to offer alternative regulation by 2025.
March 14, 2022, 8:05 PM
eu crypto


EU to Propose Digital Euro Bill in 2023
  • The bill will serve as the legal foundation for the European Central Bank’s ongoing technical work on a euro-based CBDC.
  • The European Commission is also planning to call the public for comments next month on how the digital euro could be used.
European Commission Proposes New Crypto Assets Legislation
  • The proposed framework will provide security for investors and issuers in the digital asset space, and allow for a controlled crypto environment.
  • The European Commission also proposed a new pilot regime for crypto trading, allowing temporary derogations from existing rules so that regulators can deal with various risks to investor protection.