WEF: Better global blockchain standards needed to ‘facilitate functional frameworks’

A new study from the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said current efforts from international organizations are not going far enough to establish common rules and standards for blockchain globally.

The study, produced in partnership with the WEF and the Global Blockchain Business Council, said the industry is still suffering from a lack of defined rules, especially at an international level.

The Global Standards Mapping Initiative said issues of overlap and divergence in international rules were posing significant challenges for the development of the blockchain industry globally. According to their findings, many of the organizations championing standards have a particular focus on some areas while neglecting others, leading to too much legislation in some circumstances and not enough in others.

They also found that efforts to introduce standards correlate to hype around blockchain, with many organizations promising to bring forward standards during the peak of blockchain hype, only to later fail to deliver the promised output.

The report identifies five common areas of overlap in standards and regulation, namely, security, Internet of Things (IoT), identity, distributed ledger technology (DLT) requirements and DLT terminology.

Definitions and terminology remain inconsistent globally, while there is little definition on applications and situations in which blockchain technology would be appropriate. Setting global standards in these areas would, according to the findings, present the best opportunity for blockchain technology and the industry to grow globally.

Formal and standardized testing infrastructure is also without consistency, which the report argues is already stifling innovation. Urging greater education and understanding of blockchain, the report says “the effectiveness of standards will ultimately come down to how well the technology is understood.”

The report argues that to “facilitate more functional frameworks,” common global standards for the industry should be developed without delay.

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