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Competition is fierce on various tracks of the blockchain, and relevant standards are coming.
“Leading the formulation of standards can reflect the technological value and influence of the leading enterprise. Whoever sets the standards in the world means who owns the right to speak.” Wang Liansheng, Minister of China Electronics Industry Standardization Technology Association, told reporters.
The Internet Pulse Research Institute released data. As of May 2019, there are 16 and 13 domestic and foreign blockchain group standards and industry standards respectively.
Tang Xiaodan, a senior engineer at the China Electronics Standardization Institute, revealed that as of August 2020, there are 32 group standards published by the domestic group standard information platform. As of February this year, 12 domestic blockchain industry standards have been approved.
The successive establishment of standards has also reflected that all parties are currently working on the research and formulation of relevant standards.
What can blockchain standards bring to this field? Under the craze, how to strengthen the research of blockchain standardization and enhance the international discourse power and rule-making power still needs further thinking.
Li Ming, director of the Blockchain Research Office of the China Electronics Standardization Institute, believes that, on the whole, global standardization is in the initiation stage, and the release of standards is just the beginning. The focus is on applying standards to industries, establishing industrial baselines, and forming technical consensus. , Innovate application models, establish a business ecosystem, improve industrial efficiency, and promote industrial development.
Fight for the right to speak internationally
my country’s current participation in the formulation of international blockchain standards is continuously increasing.
On September 4, the National Financial Standardization Technical Committee issued an announcement that the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute led the proposal of an international standard for blockchain successfully in the Sixteenth Study Group (SG16) of the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Department (ITU-T) Project.
It is understood that different countries currently focus on different blockchain standards. The United States focuses on basic commonalities, while Germany prefers to study engineering standards.
Li Ming believes that, from the content point of view, China’s standardization work is more in terms of basics, applications and services, while foreign standardization focuses more on key technologies, information security and governance and other related fields.
Why are all walks of life in the world actively promoting the process of blockchain standardization? “First of all, standards have the function of summarizing, regulating and guiding the development of the industry. Standardization can summarize current best practices, form standards through professional methods, form a consensus among more people, and provide a baseline for industrial development. Secondly, standards can be standardized The key elements of the industry, such as personnel, technology, systems, applications, and services, form a standardized development path. Finally, through standardized pre-research, the technology path, application logic and industrial development direction are analyzed to guide the high-quality development of the industry.” Li Ming concluded to reporters In this way, standardization can provide guidance services and assistance for regulators, technology providers, third parties and users.
In August of this year, the blockchain cross-chain international standard led by Ant Chain was officially launched. The person in charge of ant chain related technology told this reporter that the vigorous development of blockchain has formed different blockchain forms. At present, when the technical standards are not uniform, different blockchains often have different forms of data format and interface opening. . This makes chain-based interaction between companies that have deployed different blockchains difficult. To tap the true potential of the blockchain, realize cross-enterprise and cross-institutional interoperability, and form a more open ecosystem, it is necessary to realize the entire industry network, the digital value transfer and asset exchange of the partner ecosystem through cross-chain technology.
“The cross-chain standard aims to jointly build the ecosystem of the blockchain industry and requires the participation of both domestic and international. Antchain is actively discussing and planning with various domestic institutions to export the self-developed cross-chain technology to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to build international influence.”
Regarding the development of international blockchain standards, Wang Liansheng also agrees, “Who can ultimately be the voice of the rules, regulate, lead, and promote the development of the industry depends on the time, professionalism and strength of the research and formulation of standards. The formulation and release of standards It is a symbol of a country’s soft power, and also a symbol of soft power and the right to speak. Different standards mean different levels of competitiveness and influence, and mean market share and trade value.”
Wang Liansheng further pointed out that the competition in the formulation of blockchain standards not only exists in the professional competition between the international giants’ blockchain standards and the domestic blockchain standards, but also exists in the competition of industry standards among enterprises.
All parties rush to enter
At present, various departments, research institutions, industry associations and enterprise groups are actively contributing to the development of blockchain standards.
On September 10, Shanghai’s local blockchain standards solicited public opinions.
Li Ming said that although national standards and industry standards have not yet been released in China, a number of national and industry standards have been established, such as reference architectures, certification guidelines, and smart contracts. At the same time, Guizhou has issued 4 local standards, China Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum and other related organizations have issued 30 group standards such as data format specifications and system evaluation specifications. This is a great impact on national and international standards. Supplement.
In terms of the formulation of national standards, in December 2017, the National Standardization Management Committee issued an announcement on the “Information Technology Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Reference Architecture” led by the China Electronics Standardization Institute (hereinafter referred to as the “Electronic Standards Institute”). “standard. This is also the first approved national standard in the blockchain field.
In the first half of 2020, the National Standardization Management Committee issued an announcement, organized by the Electrical Standards Institute, and led by ZhongAn Information Technology Service Co., Ltd. and Annie Shares (002235.SZ), respectively, “Information Technology Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Smart Contract Two national standards, namely the Implementation Specification and the Application Guidelines for Information Technology Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology, were approved for project approval.
Annie shares told reporters that some preparatory work is currently being done and it is expected that the compilation of national standards will be launched at the end of 2020. “At present, Annie shares are still leading the preparation of the “Blockchain Application Service Middleware Reference Architecture” group standard, and participates in the preparation of the blockchain reference architecture, privacy protection, smart contract national standards and other local standards and industry standards. ”
“Different types of standard formulation process and implementation scope are different. Standards are divided into several levels, international standards, national standards, industry standards, local standards, group standards, and corporate standards.” Tang Xiaodan introduced to reporters that the current international standardization work The development is mainly carried out by the three major international standardization organizations-the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union Standardization Department (ITU-T).
“From the perspective of the standard formulation process, whether it is the formulation of national standards or international standards, we must first conduct sufficient research in the early stage to demonstrate the feasibility and necessity of standard project establishment, and go through the standard pre-research and project establishment stage. In terms of national standards, after the standard project is established, it enters the standard development stage. At this stage, the drafting unit needs to form draft standards at various stages, soliciting opinions from the departments, enterprises, institutions, or industry experts involved in the standard, and after reviewing them, the final report Send to relevant departments to wait for approval and release. Usually this is a relatively long process.” Tang Xiaodan explained.
Gold content still needs to be investigated
“For an enterprise, it can lead the development of relevant standards, and on the basis of reaching a broad consensus, it is possible to transform its mature technology into industry standards, national standards and even international standards. This is also an important starting point for the company’s technological layout. At the same time, the standard development process is a process that reflects full cooperation. In the process of enterprises participating in the formulation of technical standards, enterprises can exchange technological progress and application conditions with each other, and understand the fundamentals of the industry.” Tang Xiaodan added.
The reporter also learned from industry professionals that in addition to demonstrating their own strength and seizing the industry’s leading position, standards are also an important weight for companies to obtain relevant subsidies and promote their own technological research and development advantages. It is another hot spot besides blockchain patents.
Statistics from the Internet Pulse Research Institute show that as of May 2019, 9 international and domestic organizations and institutions have researched and formulated a total of 63 blockchain standards, with 16 group standards and 13 industry standards respectively.
Reporters searching public information can also see that many companies are participating in the formulation or leading of blockchain standards for publicity.
Industry insiders are also slightly worried about this. At present, domestic block chain standard formulations are competing, but the national standard formulation, such as how to define data and how to standardize the basic structure, has not yet been published. At present, different institutions or organizations in the industry have developed duplicate standards, and even have different definitions of the same term. For the industry, the standard was originally intended to keep the industry in a relatively uniform state and achieve standardized development. However, if too many repetitive standards are issued, it may have a counterproductive effect on the industry.
“Before formulating standards, we should do a good job of research and development. As a standard development unit, we should think more about what standards the entire industry needs. At present, more than one standard on some topics has been published, and adding standards on the same topic is of little significance. As the main body of standard development, we should study more standards that have not yet been formulated, and pay more attention to making real high-quality standards, in order to promote the industry to advance better.” Industry insiders said bluntly.