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EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum
News article14 March 20223 min read

Regulatory sandbox for blockchain and legal advice for EBSI production phase

EBSI

The European Commission launches a call for tenders (CNECT/2021/OP/0019) to contract a consortium to (1) facilitate and operate a pan-European regulatory sandbox for Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) in particular blockchain, and (2) provide comprehensive legal advice pertaining to the operation of the core services of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) and its use cases as approved by the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP).

The regulatory sandbox will be instrumental to accompany the use cases on EBSI and beyond, enabling regulators and users as well as providers of DLT and blockchain technologies to interact in a trusted environment. Projects in the sandbox will include both EBSI use cases and a broad range of other blockchain applications across key industry sectors (that have completed a proof of concept or have won a European prize in a competition). The goal of the regulatory sandbox is to foster a dialogue and cooperationbetween national and EU-level regulators and lawmakers with companies and thus remove legal and legal uncertainties for use cases based on decentralized solutions on blockchain and potentially in combination with other technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence or Internet of Things.

The creation of a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure as a pan-European infrastructure for the delivery of cross-border public services opens up an opportunity to explore innovative solutions for use cases that benefit from the trust blockchain establishes in the immutability and authenticity of data.

In cooperation with representatives and technical experts from the 27 EU Member States, Norway and Liechtenstein from the European Blockchain Partnership, the European Commission has been developing the architecture for the operation of the infrastructure.  The EBSI is moving towards a production phase for a first wave of four use cases that are already at an advanced stage, using blockchain as a trust tool to authenticate and record data for the purpose of the delivery of public services. Three additional use cases have been selected more recently for deployment on EBSI.

The objective of this call for tender is to award a contract to cover two main tasks:

  • act as external contractor to facilitate and operate (under the Commission’s control) a regulatory sandbox with national and EU authorities and regulators to facilitate dialogue and cooperation with innovators of advanced software applications that deploy (either stand-alone or in combination with other information society services) Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) including in particular public blockchains. The contractor will support the European Commission in the operation of the regulatory sandbox in a coordinating role and in a legal role (providing legal expertise and advice);
  • act as external legal expert to the Commission and the European Blockchain Partnership to provide comprehensive legal advice on all legal and regulatory aspects pertaining to the operation of the core services of EBSI and use cases approved by the European Blockchain Partnership. The expert will provide legal advice and support on all relevant regulatory issues regarding the EBSI blockchain infrastructure, including civil & corporate law, public administration law, data protection, cybersecurity, and all other relevant national and EU regulation.  The expert should also assist the Commission with the legal aspects and drafting pertaining to the transfer of the operation of the EBSI core services on a designated legal vehicle.  Further, the expert should support the Commission (and any designated organisation or partner in liaison with the EC) with all General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) related work pertaining to the EBSI core services and, as indicated by the Commission, the use cases. This legal support is separate and distinct from the legal work expected under the “regulatory sandbox”.

Economic operators and technological research institutes interested in this call are invited to submit a tender via the electronic submission system (e-Submission) available from the TED e-Tendering website.

Any request for additional information must be made in writing only through TED eTendering website https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-display.html?cftId=8273 in the "Questions & answers" tab, by clicking "Create a question" (registration on TED eTendering is required to be able to create and submit a question).

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Publication date
14 March 2022