The emergence and success of Bitcoin propelled blockchain technologies into prominence. Since then, financial institutions have explored the potential of Bitcoin-like systems; the Open Source community has delved into the Open Source implementations, and the research community has worked on developing and optimizing associated cryptographic protocols, improving architectural solutions, and understanding the economics of systems like Bitcoin. Governments have started looking at the regulatory space for distributed financial systems and requirements for integrity; civil society organizations have looked into privacy support in blockchain systems, and law enforcement agencies have examined the new potential for financial crime. As work on exploring all the potential diverse uses of blockchain technology has expanded, applications for e-government, storage, document notarization, identity protection, real estate, and enterprise have emerged.
Working Group Approach
At the Paris working group meeting in September 2015, Intel took the initiative to lead the Working Group with an initial focus on crypto-currencies but subsequently broadening out the discussion to be multi-disciplinary. Since then the group has expanded and attracted other TDL members as well as a number of high profile non-members as participants.
The final version of the collaborative report Blockchain: Perspectives on Research, Technology & Policy will be published in April 2017. A pre-publication draft was produced in June 2016.
In June 2016, the Working Group enabled a one-day conference, Multiple Views on Blockchain: Technology, Use Cases, Economics, and Policies, described here in more detail.
The next meeting of the Blockchain Working Group will take place during the quarterly TDL WG meeting at NEC Labs in Heidelberg on 23 May 2017. The proposed agenda for the Working Group will be made available soon.