China’s IT Ministry Calls for ‘Acceleration’ of Blockchain Standardization
A document produced under the auspices of China’s IT Ministry has called on the country to “accelerate” the development of standards for the blockchain industry.
The text has been authored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)’s Zhou Ping, who is also secretary general of the China Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum and director of the Software Engineering and Evaluation Center at China’s Electronics Technology Standardization Research Institute.
The document argues that the development of a reference blockchain architecture standard is of crucial importance for guiding the selection and application of blockchain systems across diverse domestic industries.
It outlines that domestic blockchain standardization work began as early as 2016, with the publication of the Development Forum’s white paper, which stipulated five categories for blockchain standardization: foundation, processes and method, interoperability, business and applications, and information security.
After the Forum completed its basic standard reference architecture, as of May 2018, it reportedly completed ten international blockchain standards such as terminology and concepts, reference architecture, classification and ontology, which have now entered development stage.
While blockchain standardization work continues to “deepen,” the text highlights that several hurdles still impede its completion, slowing industrial-scale development. These reportedly include “misunderstandings,” or an “immature and imbalanced” view of the technology’s application across various industries and scenarios, and insufficient cultivation of blockchain talent, which it notes is especially needed to train standardization practitioners.
The author calls on the country to expedite standardization, as the technology’s potential applications continue to extend beyond the bounds of finance to supply chain management, social welfare, the culture and entertainment industries, and other fields.
The author further recommends that China “seize the opportunity to play a key role in the international development of blockchain standards,” while drawing upon and reformulating these international standards for China’s situation.
As previously reported, China has been ratcheting up its efforts to complete a blockchain standardization system “as soon as possible,” creating a dedicated government committee for the express purpose, and most recently announcing standards should be issued by the end of 2019.