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Blockchain standards

The European Commission takes an active role in the blockchain standards community, engaging and working closely with all relevant bodies around the world.

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Standards are an important key to success for any developing technology, and blockchain is no exception. The right standards, set at the right time in a technology’s development, can ensure interoperability, generate trust in and help ensure ease of use of the technology. In this way, they support its development and create a pathway to mass adoption.

The EU takes an active role in the blockchain standards community, engaging and working closely with all relevant bodies around the world.

The blockchain standards landscape

The technology standards landscape is complex, covering a large number of supra-national, national and industrial organisations. Some of the more important organisations in the European blockchain standards landscape include:

  • StandICT: Provides an ICT Standardisation Observatory (EUCOS) and a Facility to support participation of European experts on international standardisation (
  • European Standardisation Organisations: Important European standards organisations relevant to blockchain include the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI, in particular the ISG PDL), the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), in particular through their Joint Technical Committee 19 (JTC19).
  • Supra-national and industry organisations: Important global organisations relevant to blockchain standards include ISO (in particular ISO TC307), ISO/IEC JTC1 and ITU-T.
  • National standards bodies: Most national IT standards bodies also are or are expected to be working on blockchain topics.
  • Open Standards bodies: include IEEE, The Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
  • INATBA: Through various of its working groups, the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications also contributes to the standards discussion on a European and global level.

There are many other national and industrial organisations involved in blockchain-relevant standards work on topics such as digital assets, token specifications, blockchain governance, security token standards, and more.

The wide range of bodies working on blockchain standards ensures that a great deal of skill and expertise around the world is dedicated to this work. But, there is a danger of fragmentation in the standards landscape.

Standards topics

Technology standards can cover a wide range of topics, some of which are not directly related to the technology itself. In blockchain, the following topics are particularly relevant:

  • interoperability: Ensuring the different blockchain and DLT protocols and platforms can exchange data and seamlessly communicate with each other;
  • governance: Best practice and standards in governing blockchain projects as well as blockchain consortia working on decentralised platforms;
  • identity: Promoting a common identity framework and/or interoperable identity among different blockchain protocols and platforms;
  • security: Ensuring a secure operation of the different nodes, networks and services;
  • smart contracts: Supporting best practice and standards to ensure smart contract technology is safe and secure.


The Commission’s European Innovation Council awards €5 million to blockchain solutions for social innovations

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good has awarded €5 million to six winners selected in a call to identify scalable, deployable and high-impact blockchain solutions for societal challenges. The winning solutions propose blockchain applications for fair trade and circular economy, increasing transparency in production processes and quality information, improving accountability and contributing to financial inclusion and renewable energy.

Hungary joins the European Blockchain Partnership

On 18 February 2019, Hungary became the 29th country to sign the Declaration creating a European Blockchain Partnership. The declaration was signed by Mr László György, Minister of State for Economic Strategy and Regulation, Ministry for Innovation and Technology, in the presence of Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General for the European Commission’s Directorate-General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT).

Liechtenstein joins the European Blockchain Partnership

On 1 February 2019, the Principality of Liechtenstein signed the Declaration joining the European Blockchain Partnership, thus becoming the 28th country in the Partnership. The declaration was signed by Sabine Monauni, Ambassador of Liechtenstein, in the presence of Gerard de Graaf, Director for Digital Single Market at the European Commission.

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