NIST Seeks Comments on Draft Report Breaking Down the Importance of Blockchain Technology
By now, everyone has heard of Bitcoin and the millions that early adopters have been making off of it. But what’s less well known is how it works. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is here to help rectify that. NIST recently released its draft report on Blockchain Technology, an overview that “strives to help businesses make good decisions about when and if to use blockchain.” The report defines blockchain technology and its relations to Bitcoin and other digital currencies that have made waves recently for the gains that can be made. It also delves into ways blockchain technology can be used to solve technological issues and determine when it’s an appropriate solution. Comments and feedback on the report are being accepted until February 23.
Blockchain technology was developed in 2008 specifically for use with Bitcoin. It allows transactional information to be recorded and stored on many computers at once. Once a group of records, or “blocks” are stored together, they are linked to other blocks. This forms a record, or “chain.” Once these blocks have been linked, the information in each individual block cannot be altered without affecting all blocks in the chain. This lack of malleability means blockchain technology is considered a highly secure way to store sensitive information. Changes can’t be made to a record without other record keepers in the network noticing. This consequently eliminates the need for a designated centralized record keeper, which always carries its own set of risks.
To read the draft NISTIR 8202 report and submit comments, click here: https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/nistir/8202/draft