In April 2017, experts from over 30 countries met in Sydney, Australia, to discuss a course of action for the study and creation of global standards for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. At the inaugural meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 307 (ISO/TC 307) 5 key study groups were formed: 1) Reference Architecture, Taxonomy and Ontology; 2) Use Cases; 3) Security and Privacy; 4) Identity; 5) Smart Contracts. The technical committee will have 18 months to prepare a strategic business plan describing the dynamics of the economic, social, or regulatory environments or other matters relevant to its field.
The aim of the study groups is to align ISO with the identified needs and trends under consideration and to pinpoint the benefits of creating international standards in those areas, thus helping ISO deliver its main product, international standards.
Craig Dunn, chairman of ISO/TC 307, described the potential of blockchain technology with regard to business and government, “Blockchain technology is a means of achieving trust and security when making exchanges, without the need for oversight by a trusted third party, and can be effective building blocks for other initiatives like anti-corruption and fraud prevention.” He further added, “Future standardization in this area can take the development of these technologies to the next step by providing internationally agreed ways of working, stimulating greater interoperability, speedier acceptance and enhanced innovation in their use and application.”
Standards Australia hosted this event and had taken an early leadership role by sending a proposal to ISO in September of 2016 urging the creation of international standards for blockchain technology.
ISO unites the national standards bodies of 163 countries and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The next meeting for the technical committee is scheduled for November 14-17, 2017, in Japan.