STA, 11 January 2020 – Slovenia has launched SiChain, a blockchain infrastructure platform, to become the first EU country to have a pilot blockchain infrastructure system in place at state level. SiChain technology aims to facilitate blockchain technology use for companies and state agencies, and could be used for document verification as well.

The pilot project, which was launched in December last year, is designed to test blockchain applications by the state, companies, local communities and research agencies.

It is run by the Economy Ministry in cooperation with the EU Commission, with the project’s infrastructure being devised by blockchain firm HashNet and telecoms provider Telemach.

The deployment timeline depends on EU Commission-approved pilot projects. As soon as they are given the go-ahead, development of prototype models will start, Telemach has told the STA.

Theoretically, there are three development phases spread across this year. Initially, transaction testing and capacity measurements are to be carried out, followed by a second phase developing more complex applications and expanding the network to the state and international levels.

The third phase is expected to create links between networks and public use.

In general aim is to implement transactions and smart contracts using hashnet technology, a distributed data block technology that is considered energy and time efficient.

SiChain could potentially be used to verify marriage certificates and other documents, standardise student ID cards, for electricity market transactions, and inter-governmental contracts within the EU.

The EU Commission has earmarked EUR 10 million for the project’s pilot stage, but the actual figure depends on the proposed and approved project, according to Telemach.

“The total amount which the EU will allocate for the development and implementation of blockchain technology in the next five years, is estimated at EUR 300 million,” said the telco.

European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) is one of the key European Blockchain Partnership projects, developed by the EU Commission in cooperation with member states and blockchain experts.

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