16 June 2017 ITU Newslog
ITU has created a new Focus Group to analyze the standardization demands of applications and services built on distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain. The group is titled the ‘ITU-T Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology’ and is open to participation by any interested party.
Distributed ledger technologies enable trusted transactions free of a middleman. These distributed or shared ledgers record events by replicating the relevant data across multiple computer systems, offering a transparent means of managing data and verifying its accuracy.
Distributed ledger technologies are proving applicable to a wide range of records-management activities. The Focus Group’s establishment comes in response to growing recognition of the value of distributed ledger technologies in recording financial transactions and enabling efficient Identity Management in the context of the Internet of Things.
The Focus Group will be chaired by David Watrin, Head of Security and Intelligence at Swisscom. It will investigate new services and applications built on distributed ledger technologies to determine where international standardization could amplify the benefits of these technologies.
The Focus Group will bring together service and platform providers, network operators, regulators, international organizations and standards bodies to share their perspectives on the potential of distributed ledger technologies and the challenges facing their broader adoption.
The terms of reference of the Focus Group were agreed by the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG). TSAG will act as the Focus Group’s parent group, responsible for defining ITU’s response to the Focus Group’s findings.
Contributions are invited to the first meeting of the Focus Group in Geneva, 17-19 October 2017
The Focus Group is inviting contributions detailing the state of the art in distributed ledger technology, highlighting relevant terms and definitions and elaborating the conceptual foundations of distributed ledger technologies and their applications.
Contributors are encouraged to identify established as well as potential use cases of distributed ledger technologies and related questions to be addressed by international standardization.
The meeting’s review of contributions and initial discussion of the standardization demands of distributed ledger technologies will inform the Focus Group’s definition of its structure, the responsibilities of its working groups and its targeted output documents and their development timeline.
Learn more about IBM’s investigation of enterprise applications of blockchain technology in an ITU interview with IBM Encryption Researcher, Christian Cachin.