Blockchain global standards mapped for first time

Industry leaders have released the Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI), the first and most comprehensive effort to assess the current state of blockchain.

Based on input from over 30 technical standard-setting entities, 185 jurisdictions and nearly 400 industry groups, the reports are intended to serve as a resource for the blockchain community to develop frameworks and standards.

The reports, released by the World Economic Forum and the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), map and assess the current blockchain and digital asset landscape across three distinct areas: technical standards; legislation and guidance by sovereign and international bodies; and industry best practices.

Insights highlighted include the technology’s fragmentation both worldwide and within jurisdictions, gaps and conflicts in standard-setting, a lack of dynamic guidance for new uses of the technology, the need for proactive strategies from organisations, and the role regulators must play.

The initiative’s core collaborators include Accenture, MIT Media Lab, ESG Intelligence, Global Digital Finance, Hyperledger, The Linux Foundation, ING and SIX Digital Exchange.

Sheila Warren, head of blockchain at the World Economic Forum, said: “There has been a strong demand signal for a catalogue of standards-related activity that could serve as a cornerstone for facilitating responsible deployment and interoperability.

“We were excited to collaborate with the Global Blockchain Business Council and members of our blockchain council to create this open resource that can be used by the ecosystem, policymakers and beyond, to inform their approaches to the technology and standards moving forward.”

Sandra Ro, chief executive of the GBBC, said: “GSMI partners and collaborators are a diverse group of stakeholders across industries, governments and academia who represent a range of perspectives and ideologies.

“We invite new partners to join us as we build upon this initial body of work, GSMI version 1.0.”

Mariana Gomez de la Villa, distributed ledger technology (DLT) program director at ING, said: “We all know DLT is a network technology and for it to reach mass scale adoption you need strong synergies where every single participant on the value chain experiences the value.

“As an ecosystem, we won’t be able to deliver value without developing clear standards.”

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