With many different businesses and initiatives all working on endless adaptations of blockchain technology to enhance and sometimes radically change existing systems and processes, there is a danger of ending up with a mess of incompatible, bespoke blockchain solutions rather than a cohesive, interoperable network of blockchain based infrastructure. The International Organization for Standardization has recently approved a proposal by Australian Standards, the national standards agency, for a framework for Blockchain standards. Australia will now take the lead as a committee of ISO members seek to define standards for various aspects of blockchain technology.
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The International Organization for Standardization, ISO, the foremost global standards authority, has been showing interest in blockchain for some time. However, a move by Standards Australia, the country’s state sponsored standards authority, has placed the Australia at the forefront of the blockchain standardization initiative. Standards Australia recently proposed an outline for blockchain standards that ISO has approved, and Australia will now head the international technical committee formed to build the standards approach to blockchain globally.
In the initial proposal, several key aspects of blockchain were defined, the permission models for both public and private blockchain, smart contracts and application programming interfaces and other means of interaction with the blockchain. The new committee will seek to create a framework for common standards for these various aspects of blockchain itself.
The new committee will consist of 35 ISO members from around the world, and is charged with creating the approved common standard for “interoperability among systems, privacy, security and terminology”.
Australia has been at the forefront of many cryptocurrency developments for many years, and this move shows the proactive interest in the technology within the country, however what do standards mean for the wider digital currency industry?
There is no doubting that blockchain has seen a huge growth in interest across seemingly endless market sectors in the last few years, with research and development of applications for the technology in everything from finance and insurance to verification of authenticity of art pieces attracting huge sums in investment money. However, with many of these working from different protocols, the issue of interoperability could become an issue. This is particularly important in some sectors, such as insurance and finance, where systems developed on different protocols that cannot effectively work together is no improvement on the bespoke systems currently in place.
A standardized blockchain protocol could ensure that as blockchain is put in place for various projects, they could be interoperable in the future if needed.