The Tapscotts Take Their Blockchain Research Institute Into Europe


Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), the education and innovation hub founded by father-and-son tech evangelists Don and Alex Tapscott, has opened a European arm.

Announced Wednesday, Blockchain Research Institute Europe (BRIE) launches in partnership with Blockwall, an independent venture capital firm based in Frankfurt, Germany. The new BRIE think tank will bring together a gaggle of European industry leaders, academics, policymakers, entrepreneurs and researchers, according to a joint press statement.

The goal: Getting large companies through the “trough of disillusionment” currently surrounding “enterprise blockchain.”

“We were not focused on what is typically called enterprise blockchain,” Alex Tapscott said in an interview. “I think that’s just a misnomer.”

Instead, BRI is focused on “blockchain for enterprise,” which offers a wider canvas on which distributed technologies can play out.

“Saying ‘enterprise blockchain’ is like saying ‘enterprise internet.’ There’s just one internet,” Tapscott said. “From the very beginning, we saw public protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum as being the foundation technology that would be used by enterprises.”

One particular area of growth: stablecoins.

“Stablecoins were never part of the enterprise blockchain toolkit until recently,” he said. “From first-hand experience talking to banks, supply chain, shipping and logistics companies, all of them are trying to understand how the stablecoin boom is going to transform enterprise.”

Tapscott said BRIE’s aim is to recruit large European corporates to join the BRI consortium, which includes mainly U.S. member firms like FedEx, Exxon, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, IBM and Microsoft.

BRIE will be based in Frankfurt and staffed by four or five Blockwall staffers, with a view to hiring dedicated research staff going forward, Tapscott said. BRI has carried out over 150 research projects to date.

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