The Italian government will provide $46 million in subsidies for blockchain projects

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The Italian Ministry of Economic Development has announced that certain blockchain projects will qualify to apply for up to $46 million in government subsidies starting in September.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the ministry said companies and public or private research firms can apply to the government for funding to develop projects related to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain technology. The fund will have an initial budget of €45 million – approximately US$46 million at the time of publication – for expenses and costs ranging from €500,000 (worth US$512,150) to €2 million (US$2,048,600) as part of the Italian government’s objectives for investment in technology, research and innovation.

“We support companies’ investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of promoting the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly connected, efficient, safe and fast,” said Economic Development Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti. “The goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and exploit the potential of new technologies.”

The government directive was made possible by a decree in December 2021 that set out the criteria for using the fund, and another decree in June 2022 in which the ministry set out the modalities and conditions for submitting applications. According to the decree, companies of all sizes can apply for subsidies as long as the funds are used for IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors such as industry and manufacturing, tourism, health, environment and aerospace.

Related: ‘Bitcoin-themed’ ETF listings on Italy’s Borsa Italiana Stock Exchange

As a member of the European Union, Italy would likely be affected by recent regulations passed by the EU Parliament aimed at bringing crypto issuers and service providers under its judicial scrutiny under a single regulatory framework. The country’s securities regulator, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission, or CONSOB, has previously warned residents about the potential risks of crypto investing, while the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori is largely responsible for granting regulatory approval to crypto service providers — in May the regulator announced the Major crypto exchange Binance has been given the green light to open a branch in Italy.

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