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ISO/TC307 Blockchains and New Zealand

April 6, 2018
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I had the opportunity to give a brief presentation on Blockchains and the NZ landscape to the Standards Approval Board (https://www.standards.govt.nz/about-us/approval-board/) as part of Standards NZ proposal for NZ to move from an observer membership (O) status to participation (P) status for “ISO/TC 307 Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies”.

Steve Lowe from Standards NZ is leading the charge where the standards covers the following scope:

ISO/TC 307/SG 1 Reference architecture, taxonomy and ontology
ISO/TC 307/SG 2 Use cases
ISO/TC 307/SG 3 Security and privacy
ISO/TC 307/SG 4 Identity
ISO/TC 307/SG 5 Smart contracts
ISO/TC 307/SG 6 Governance of blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems
ISO/TC 307/SG 7 Interoperability of blockchain and distributed ledger technology systems
ISO/TC 307/WG 1 Foundations
ISO/TC 307/WG 2 Security, privacy and identity
ISO/TC 307/WG 3 Smart contracts and their applications

SG: Study Group, WG: Working Group.

Participation status means NZ will have a voice and a vote to help contribute to the future direction of blockchain technologies.

Currently there are 32 participating members and 14 observing members.

ISO/TC 307 has met twice, most recently in Tokyo. Work is progressing in many areas including reference architecture, terminology, smart contracts, and security and identity. Separate study groups were established to focus on governance and interoperability, and additional research is underway on supply chain and trade facilitation

The background is that in April 2016, Standards Australia submitted a New Field of Technical Activity (NFTA) proposal on behalf of Australia for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to consider developing standards to support blockchain technology.

The proposal for an NFTA to ISO was intended to establish a new ISO technical committee for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The new committee would be responsible for supporting innovation and competition by covering blockchain standards topics including interoperability, terminology, privacy, security and auditing. This decision resulted in the creation of ISO/TC 307, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

In September 2016, ISO announced that Australia will manage the Secretariat of ISO/TC 307 after approving Standards Australia’s proposal for new International Standards on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

This is another step in the right direction for blockchain technologies and for New Zealand to be at the forefront of development as well. The outcome should be known soon. Stay tuned!

References:

  • https://www.iso.org/committee/6266604.html
  • https://www.standards.org.au/engagement-events/flagship-projects/blockchain

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