European Commission launches a blockchain regulatory sandbox for 20 projects annually through 2026

The European Commission’s regulatory sandbox will connect projects from the public and private sectors with the appropriate participating regulators for assessments and consultations. 

On February 15, the European Commission announced the establishment of the European Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox. Through 2026, the sandbox will serve as a forum for regulatory dialogue for 20 projects. 

The sandbox was announced in 2020 and is being supported by a number of private companies that won tenders in 2022. The Digital Europe Programme will provide funding. An independent panel of academic experts will select projects on a competitive basis from public and private sector use cases of “Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies.”Applicants will be considered for public sector projects on the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). The EBSI is a pan-European blockchain managed by a collaboration of EU countries, Norway, and Lichtenstein. 

Members of the annual sandbox cohort will be paired with national and European Union regulators to receive confidential legal advice and regulatory guidance, while regulators will be able to learn about new blockchain technology. The deadline for applications for the first cohort of projects is April 14. Projects must have a cross-border dimension and a proof of concept that has been validated according to specifications.

Priority will be given to projects that have already been selected for deployment by government officials.  Companies must be based in the European Union. These companies work in collaboration with companies outside the EEA as long as the EEA-based company benefits from the project.  Participants’ expenses will not be reimbursed. 

Following a written legal assessment, selected projects will participate in two virtual meetings with participating regulators. For its third cohort, the EBSI Early Adopters incubator programme is also accepting applications. 

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