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According to the EIB, the EU is billions of dollars behind China and the United States in blockchain and artificial intelligence investment.
According to the European Investment Bank, the European Union is lagging behind China and the United States in blockchain and artificial intelligence investments.
The EIB said on Tuesday that it anticipates an ongoing investment shortfall of around 10 billion euros ($12 billion) across both technologies. China and the U.S. currently account for 80% of the global $25 billion invested in blockchain and AI, with the EU making up just 7% of that figure, reported Reuters.
The bank said the underinvestment in both sectors compared to other regions was a sign that the EU has failed to translate scientific knowledge into applicable business models.
“Companies and governments in Europe are significantly underinvesting in AI and blockchain compared to other leading regions,” the report stated. “It has become clear that the European Union struggles to translate its scientific excellence into business application and economic success.”
The EIB stated that it expects investments in both technologies to contribute to the global COVID-19 recovery in industries ranging from healthcare to financial services. The bank stated that additional funding from private markets would be required if the EU was to keep up with global competitors.
“EU and member state support schemes could fill a portion of the gap, but private markets will undoubtedly need to contribute the remainder,” the bank said.
Even in the face of the EIB’s investment shortfall, European financial institutions continue to experiment with blockchain technology. The Banque de France recently conducted pilot tests for a central bank digital currency on the Ethereum blockchain. The majority of major EU countries have indicated an interest in exploring the development of CBDCs in the coming years.