The digital revolution has brought about both opportunities and risks for everyone. While technological advancements have created new markets and streamlined processes, regulators have struggled to keep up with the ever-evolving innovations.

Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice president of the European Commission for a Europe fit for the digital age, and commissioner for competition since 2014, believes that it is time to anticipate and plan for changes brought about by new technologies such as the metaverse and ChatGPT.

Speaking at the Keystone Conference, Vestager highlighted the need for healthy competition in the metaverse and the potential impact of ChatGPT on the equation. She stressed that while the regulatory process will continue to lag behind tech innovations, it is essential to start brainstorming implications early on.

The commissioner also revealed that the European Commission would enforce antitrust investigations from May 2023 aimed at the Facebook marketplace and how Meta uses ads-related data from rivals. This move is expected to further regulate the digital economy and ensure healthy competition in the marketplace.

On the other end of the spectrum, European Union lawmakers are in talks about using zero-knowledge proofs for digital IDs.

The new eID would allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online without having to resort to commercial providers, which raises trust, security, and privacy concerns. Zero-knowledge proofs have recently been at the center of researchers’ attention as a way to ensure regulatory compliance and privacy in digital currencies.

In line with the need for regulatory compliance, the European Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox was launched on Feb. 15. This sandbox provides a space for regulatory dialogue for 20 projects per year through to 2026.

This initiative will allow regulators to test new ideas and approaches to regulating the blockchain industry while promoting innovation and growth.