Jelurida has reported about the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) Focus Group on Applications of Distributed Ledger Technology (FG DLT). Beginning in January 2019, a team of experts from Jelurida – led by Skylar Hurwitz and including Lior Yaffe, Alberto Fernandez and Francisco Sarrias – contributed written sections of reports and attended numerous collaborative meetings with international stakeholders in the telecommunication and distributed ledger technology (DLT) industries.
The ITU standardisation process
The ITU-T is the specialist UN agency responsible for exploring developments and issuing standards recommendations in the fields of information and communication technology (ICT). In 2017, it launched a dedicated focus group to research emerging DLT technologies and use cases – spurred by Bitcoin’s development nearly a decade earlier.
After two years of public input from dozens of contributors, the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) will send each report to one of the 11 active ITU Study Groups for up to one additional year of review. Only then will it release official DLT standards recommendations for the ICT industry.
Jelurida is a blockchain software company. It develops and maintains the Nxt and Ardor blockchains.
Anyone can join its decentralised blockchain ecosystem and use its public blockchain platforms to build applications or provide services on top. Enterprises, and non-commercial organisations, can also:
- license Jelurida’s technology for private blockchain implementations – based on Nxt or Ardor
- launch a custom child chain on the Ardor platform.
The latter offers the of built-in features, like hybrid permissioned and public consensus-as-a-service offerings.
The Jelurida contribution to the ITU
Throughout this process a variety of technologies pioneered by Jelurida, including child chains and stateless smart contract execution, have been defined as concepts warranting formal definitions. One explicit reference came in Document 2.1 – where Ardor received a brief mention as an example of the rising class of platforms offering hybrid solutions which enable businesses to permission their own blockchain as needed while using a public permissionless network for transaction validation.
Relevant documents include:
- Document 1.1 Standard Taxonomies and Definitions: this describes the baseline terms which can then allow interested parties to ‘speak the same language’
- Document 2.1 Use Cases and Applications: these explore the >50 use cases submitted to the ITU for review;
- Document 3.1 Technical Reference Architecture: this eviews a technical reference architecture for DLT systems.
Of these, Document 2.1 examines the key value propositions – as well as barriers to adoption – for DLT in various use cases across ICT. The section on crypto-collectibles mentions Tarasca, a digital trading card project being built on the Ignis child chain of the Ardor platform.
After collecting mapping documents of more than a dozen different DLT platforms, the Focus Group created a series of generalised architectures. The purpose was to understand:
- the commonalities across system designs
- how future projects might approach interoperability.
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
Though the focus here is on the Jelurida contribution to the ITU-T and the results, what matters more (at least for Enterprise Times) is the ITU involvement in DLT, though this comes with a caveat. As noted above, ITU involvement came “spurred by Bitcoin’s development nearly a decade earlier”. The ITU is methodical but slow, as anyone who has ever worked though ITU processes will know. As ever, one big question is whether the ITU’s involvement will produce something meaningful when blockchain is fast evolving.
That said, Document 2.1 Use Cases and Applications is worth examination. Bringing together such a broad variety along with assessment of key values and adoption barriers could save many enterprises much potentially wasted time.