The Austrian government is the latest government to join the race for institutional adoption of the Bitcoin market and the Blockchain technology. They are putting together a team to research the potential for developing business applications using the Blockchain technology.

The new “Research Institute for Cryptoeconomy” will have its headquarters within the University of Vienna campus. On 5th December, more than 500 people met at the new research outfit; a special appearance was that of Harald Mahrer,┬áthe Austrian Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy.

He declared:

“We are bringing together the expertise of the entire community, so that needs of our entrepreneurs can be incorporated into the agenda of the incoming administration. In Europe, Austria already has a leading role in the field of blockchain, having implemented an ambitious roadmap. Now we need to ensure that the next steps are taken and create sandboxes to promote real business applications. Otherwise the competitiveness of our business sector is impeded.”

Mr Mahrer said in an official statement that the Austrian government will invest 8 million euros in a research fund that will support and investigate the potential of blockchain projects.

The latest move from the Austrian public sector comes shortly after some of the giant players in Austria’s private sector, including Wien Energie, one of the country’s major energy supplies, have openly stated that they are interested in this new digital market.

The government indicated that it would move to support regulatory reforms that enable uses of blockchain, including in energy applications such as peer-to-peer transfer.

“It [blockchain] offers enormous possibilities for new business ideas,” Mahrer said. “Now it is essential to explore these possibilities without taboos in regulatory sandboxes.”

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