Business

Derek Tonin

ETSI establishes blockchain standards group

It’s often the case with new technology that it can splinter into different forms before consolidation happens. It happened with VHS and Betamax tapes. It happened again with Blue-ray and HD DVD discs. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has announced it will corral major industry players together to discuss and explore blockchain technology, with the goal of keeping everyone on the same page.

In a statement released on their website, ETSI’s Sophia Antipolis wrote: “The group will analyze and provide the foundations to operate permissioned distributed ledgers to be deployed across various industries and governmental institutions.”

The goal of the group will be to address the challenges of working with blockchain technology, find uses for it, and work on the technology to set standards for architecture, interfaces and data models. The overall scope will be discussed more at their kickoff meeting, which will take place January 24, 2019, at Telefónica, Madrid.

ETSI announced the founding members of the group were Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Telefónica and Vodafone. Since the announcement, ETSI has added two more members to their participant list, Cadzow Comm Consulting and NEC Europe.

The group can stand to make a real difference in the adoption of blockchain technology by industry giants. ETSI boasts they are an 850-member body, with members from 66 countries. Furthermore, ETSI is one of only three groups officially recognized by the EU as a standards organization.

ETSI joins another telecommunications group, the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications, who earlier this year announced it would explore using blockchain technology to help solve that countries challenges with managing it’s unwieldy landline phone number collection.

It comes at an important juncture in the history of blockchain as well, as companies start to innovate and apply blockchain technology for their respective purposes. Spanish company Acciona Energía just recently announced its intentions to track electricity generation using blockchain.

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