The blockchain technology landscape is shifting in Austria, with public institutions and private firms experimenting with the tech, opines Veronika Rinecker at CoinTelegraph.
Austria has been actively transforming into an attractive location for providers of blockchain-based products, with the government itself experimenting with the technology and trying to create a legal basis upon which companies can use it.
With regard to blockchain-based applications in the economy, however, Austria is still in the experimental phase, with most firms still running pilot projects. Still, politicians and economists alike see potential for select industries, says Rinecker.
The Austrian government is quite open to blockchain innovations, cryptocurrencies aside, and has supported various projects in the public and private sectors.
In 2019, a consortium of public administration institutions founded the Austrian Public Service Blockchain (APSB). Active participants in the APSB — i.e., operators of their own blockchain nodes — include the Austrian Economic Chamber, City of Vienna, Federal Computing Center, and Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. One participant, Kontrollbank, is still in the set-up phase.
Meanwhile, private sector blockchain infrastructure is developing in parallel, and the Blockchain Initiative Austria (BIA) association was founded at the beginning of 2021 to advance this purpose. Austriapro — a developer of electronic business standards — is working together with the Austrian Blockchain Center to support the establishment of a secure infrastructure for private-sector blockchain use in Austria. Association members will jointly operate the blockchain nodes in the form of a “consortium chain.”
The first pilot project of the APSB and BIA involves data certification and notarisation. Here, digital fingerprints of files are placed on the blockchain to be able to prove the unaltered nature of the data at a later point in time.