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Hungary Aims at Becoming Regional Blockchain Hub

Blockchain technology is expected to disrupt a wide range of industries. Hungary aims for early dominance in the field, not least thanks to the establishment of a competence center.

From left to right: Tamás Deutsch, Péter Benedek, Dr. Viktor Dombi, Ervin Jobbágy.

With the rapid rise of cryptocurrencies, the buzz word “blockchain” has quickly infiltrated everyday language. It has also become apparent that its significance goes well beyond FinTech, meaning governments all over the world are embracing the trend, including Hungary’s. 

“In the course of digital transformation, there are no pre-destined winners and losers; every nation has the same chance at the starting line,” said Tamás Deutsch, government commissioner of the Digital Wellbeing Program at the opening ceremony of the Blockchain Competence Center (BCC). “We have realized how critical blockchain is, so it will be treated as a field of strategic importance,” he explained.

Deutsch announced a strategic partnership with BCC, which was founded by RowanHill Global and InterTicket to serve as an incubator and a knowledge hub for blockchain solutions.

“It doesn’t happen often that we can be pioneers of a disruptive tech change,” he added. “Europe is lagging behind in the ICT race compared to the United States, and forming an alliance with BCC will help catch up.” As a result, it should be a realistic goal for Hungary to become a regional hub for blockchain solutions. As he noted, an extensive national FinTech strategy is due to be drawn up by the end of the year, which should give further impetus to the effort.

Péter Benedek, the managing director of BCC, emphasized that the newly established entity is designed to connect blockchain developers with corporate partners and the administration.

“The technology embodies a new system of authentication of records,” he said. “In the future, registers, financial and other services or even parliamentary elections will function with the help of a digital solution, which offers simplified, less costly, irrevocable transactions, and rules out abuse entirely.”

Migration Security

Blockchain is a lot more than a bank transfer, Benedek noted. It is a transaction recording where some value migrates from point A to point B. The security of that value migration is now taken to the next level, which explains the global hype surrounding the technology.

“In order to ride the wave of this revolution, an education platform is needed that simultaneously hosts firms dealing with development. This is what BCC is about,” Benedek added.

According to Dr. Viktor Dombi, founder of RowanHill, the goal is to develop blockchain systems for different industries and capitalize on its advantages. “However, joint efforts are needed to get the most out of it, and that is exactly why BCC was set up,” he noted. “Blockchain could be the engine of the European economy, and we will have the opportunity to engage Hungarian expertise at a high added value level.”

Ervin Jobbágy, managing director of Interticket, compared the current situation to the dawn of the internet. Just as the entire economy was disrupted by the worldwide web back then, a similar thing is likely to happen now thanks to blockchain.

“We need to gather and disseminate all related knowledge by connecting the physical and the digital world and by bringing together stakeholders,” Jobbágy said. “Regulatory environments will also be affected, and several countries are working on attracting innovative companies, thus revving up their competitiveness. Fortunately, we were among the first to realize the significance of blockchain, and we can make it to the top in the region. And that’s the idea: to lead the charge in CEE.”