Hungary's Blockchain Coalition puts it on fast track to be a global competitor


On 8 March 2022, Hungary's Blockchain Coalition was formed.

Created through an initiative of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and the National Data Economy Knowledge Centre (Nemzeti Adatgazdasági Tudásközpont), the Coalition's mandate is to help Hungary gain an internationally valued position in the application of technology through support in the fields of research & development and service development.

The newly formed Coalition supports the Hungarian government’s aim of establishing Hungary as an innovator in the digital age. Being the third public-private partnership of its kind, the Coalition follows the previously established 5G Coalition and AI Coalition. (See more on the AI Coalition here).

The founders of the Coalition recognise that a country's level of development and acceptance of blockchain technology is a strong factor in international competition, and its application is a strategic goal for the world's leading economies. Part of the technology's significance is its ability to create autonomous systems across borders, and therefore its operation raises sovereignty, regulatory and risk-management concerns.

Founders of the Coalition include public sector actors, higher education and academic institutions, professional organisations and businesses. According to Ferenc Vágujhelyi, the President of the National Council for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Nemzeti Hírközlési és Informatikai Tanács) who was appointed the Coalition's chairman, blockchain users do not expect direct support from the government since they believe primarily in the technology itself. As a result, the Coalition will not try to define the ecosystem.

In terms of the importance of the Coalition's work, Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics stated "the government pays special attention to all innovative technologies that can further stimulate and accelerate Hungary's digital development.

"The fundamental goal of the Coalition," added Palkovics, "is to contribute to the identification of opportunities for the economic exploitation of blockchain in Hungary and to the development of an appropriate legal framework. By sharing knowledge and best practices, the Coalition supports Hungarian businesses and industries open to blockchain-based innovations to achieve measurable competitiveness gains at the national economic level. The fact that Hungary has already joined the European Blockchain Partnership in 2019 will be of great help in building international relations. This fast, secure and automatable technology can provide an ideal platform for a wide range of applications, including in artificial intelligence and other data-intensive sectors.”

Palkovics added that the government is committed to funding the Blockchain Coalition, but the ministry does not want to play an excessive role in the development of the ecosystem. Instead, as a supporting party, it will seek to help market players move forward.

The Blockchain Working Group has been operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology since December 2018, which means that there were precedents for the current initiative.

The members of the Coalition's board include Bálint Balogh, Director for Sustainable Finance and Supervisory Coordination at the Hungarian National Bank; István Erényi, Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology; Bálint Fischer, Innovation Director of Dorsum Zrt; Kornél Kalocsai, President of Blockchain Hungary Association; Balázs Karlócai, CEO of Idomsoft Zrt; András Pataricza, Professor of Budapest University of Technology and Economics; and Márton Suppan, CEO of Peak Financial Services.

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