Joining Forces for Blockchain Standardisation 2021
In 2018, European Union Member states launched the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), an initiative which is currently developing a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure. Today, all EU Member States, Norway and Lichtenstein are part of the EBP. Thanks to mainly grass-roots initiatives, more than 80 million euros within the Horizon 2020 framework have been allocated toward research and innovation projects where blockchain has been chosen as the major or one of the main technologies. More than 200 H2020 projects are actively undertaking research and innovation activities linked to Blockchain. In addition, 300 million euros have been dedicated to a designated AI/Blockchain. These funds have been successfully distributed to stimulate the European start-up community.
The global standardisation community is actively working to develop standards for blockchain technology. A majority of internet standardisation bodies have working groups working focused blockchain. For example:
– ISO has established technical committee TC307 where more than 20 EU Member states are full members.
– IEC has set up a joint working group within ISO TC307.
– ITU-T is working on standardisation of blockchain as part of a broader SG16 Multimedia and e-services.
– ETSI has industry specification group dedicated to Permissioned Distributed ledgers.
– CEN/CENELEC has set up JTC19 on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.
– EEE has a number of workflows standardising blockchain applications in verticals such as e-Health or Agriculture.
– W3C, IETF, OASIS, UNECE are undertaking similar activities related to blockchain.
Given the diversity and vast array of standardisation activities worldwide, the European Commission organised a webinar “Joining Forces for Blockchain Standardisation” which took place in June 2020 and held 10 dedicated thematic roundtables “ICT Verticals and Horizontals for blockchain standardisation” which brought together more than 70 H2020 projects, standardisation communities and EBP members to represent European values and prevent duplicating standardisation efforts.
INATBA, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications, is committed to serving as a convener of critical conversations on global standards for blockchain and other DLT. Its Standards Committee, c0-chaired by Ismael Arribas, Monique Bachner and Gilbert Verdian, works closely with global standards-setting bodies to educate INATBA Members about the important role of standards and how they can be involved in international efforts. The Standards Committee has hosted numerous roundtables on this topic, including a virtual event on the role of linguistic and cultural barriers in developing global blockchain infrastructure.
To continue these activities, INATBA and the European Commission are hosting an online webinar, “Joining Forces for Blockchain Standardisation 2021.” The event will convene standards-setting and technical specification bodies such as ISO, IEC, ITU-T, CEN/CENELEC, ETSI, IEEE as well as regional bodies like EBP/EBSI, LACChain and national authorities from countries including Japan, India, Korea, USA, Brazil for a day-long workshop. The event will consist of presentations and panels to discuss progress made as well as ongoing challenges and collaboration opportunities. The workshop will serve as a starting point for 2022 thematic discussions related to Smart Contracts, Identity, Governance, Interoperability and CBDC/crypto assets.