As the transformative applications of blockchain technology get closer to realisation, it becomes all the more important that the social, legal, ethical and economic context for it is set up correctly. The use of blockchain applications must be broadly backed and understood. The Dutch Blockchain Coalition (DBC) is therefore working on setting up the conditions under which blockchain can be utilised.
Future-proof new systems and agreements
One of the major tasks is developing standards for interoperability and reliability of the technology and the information that will be processed via blockchain applications. These should then preferably be global standards and norms that must also be compatible with European beliefs, values, priciples and regulations.
Blockchain applications are at their most powerful when they can be used in contexts that are both complex and large-scale. That is why cooperation is needed with European and global stakeholders such as the European Commission and the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) as well as parties such as Inatba and W3C.
The physical and social sciences and the humanities also need to be closely involved. The questions that come to the fore are not only about information technology but also about public and commercial-sector acceptance of how blockchain technology works and the confidence in it. What expectations do the public, clients, companies, policymakers, financiers and shareholders have about the transparency that blockchain can provide? What can it mean to these parties if a controlling role is given to the end users, benefiting their own privacy and security? Research into creating extremely secure software for smart contracts is also needed, as well as research into how the liability for erroneous smart contracts can be handled and which new roles will arise in the market. There is also a need for regulations to be drawn up that will be sufficiently future-proof.
The role of standardisation organisations
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) started global standardisation of various aspects of blockchain and DLT in the spring of 2017. The Netherlands is providing input for this through the NEN Blockchain Standards Committee. The Dutch Blockchain Coalition plays an active role in this standards committee, making recommendations about proposed standards on behalf of its membership.
The blockchain standards committee works on themes such as:
- Security, privacy and identity
- Smart contracts and their applications
- Use cases
If you would like to know more about the standardisation initiatives that DBC provides input for, or would like to provide input yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us!