The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently reported on its first meeting for the newly created technical committee for standardization of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, ISO/TC 307. The meeting was held in Sydney, Australia on April 3 to 5, 2017 and brought together international experts from over 30 countries.

The blockchain has recently gained the public’s attention largely due to the increasing popularity of the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, which uses blockchain technology. It is an application that creates and operates tamper-proof and decentralized databases. Due to the immutability and security of its records, it allows parties to exchange value or information without the need for oversight by a trusted third party, such as a bank. This results in cost savings and shortens the time needed for transactions to be completed. Many consider it to be the most disruptive technology since the Internet and believe that standardization will be an important step towards its widespread use.

At the meeting, the committee laid down the foundation for building the standard by forming five key study groups for development: (1) reference architecture, (2) taxonomy and ontology, (3) use cases, (4) security and privacy, (5) identity and smart contracts. ISO has put out a call for experts to participate in the study groups and asks that anyone interested to please contact their national ISO member. The committee is set to meet again in November to discuss the findings of the study groups.

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Summary By: Thomas Wong


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