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Blockchain and distributed ledgers

The white paper Blockchain and distributed ledgers, produced by ILNAS and ANEC, tries to shed light in a variety of aspects related to blockchain technology and its impacts on economics and businesses. The main questions arising in this report refer to: existing features, differences and similarities in major blockchain platforms; the ways in which will blockchain affect different economic sectors; emerging benefits of adopting blockchain within a given business; recent developments in blockchain technical standardization; and, existing sets of standards that are relevant to this technology.

It is pointed out that given the distributed nature of blockchain technology, that allows a network of computers to jointly create, evolve and keep track of a database of records, without having a trust third party, it is feasible to design and develop online platforms that not only accommodate the generalized notion of digital assets and various design choices, but also allow users to create their own decentralized applications. To this end, there has been a wide set of outputs that could be characterized as disruptive and foundational to various forms of commerce, including record keeping, contracting, clearing and settling.

The European Commission has launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and is studying the feasibility of an EU public blockchain infrastructure to develop cross-border services. Moreover, the rapid expansion of this technology has raised the interest for a careful analysis and development of technical standards. Hence, the EU plans to further evaluate the use of blockchain as the Next Generation Internet, by establishing a liaison with ISO/TC 307 in order to engage in and contribute to the development of future standards.

The white paper presents three intertwined projects, developed by ILNAS, that aim to allow the national markets to make rapid progress and reap the benefits of technical standardization effectively. These focus on: a) developing market interest and involvement, b) promoting and reinforcing market participation, and c) supporting and strengthening the education about standardization and related research activities.

You can get more details about the projects and read the full report here.