Activity report 2020

Industry Specification Group (ISG) Permissioned Distributed Ledger (PDL)

Chair: Diego Lopez, TELEFONICA S.A.

Analyzing and providing foundations for the operation of permissioned distributed ledgers, with the ultimate purpose of creating an open ecosystem of industrial solutions to be deployed by different sectors, fostering the application of these technologies. Contributing to consolidate the trust and dependability on information technologies supported by global, open telecommunications networks.

Distributed ledger technologies record transactions and their details in multiple places at the same time, eliminating the need for a centralized data store or administration functionality as with traditional databases.

Our ISG on Permissioned Distributed Ledgers (PDL) is exploring the challenges presented by the operation of permissioned (managed) distributed ledgers. It also addresses application scenarios, functional architecture and solutions for the operation of permissioned distributed ledgers, including interfaces/APIs/protocols and information/data models.

In 2020 the group published its first suite of deliverables.

An initial landscape document [GR PDL 001] identifies current activities in standardization and research which are particularly relevant to PDL.

A Group Report on applicability and compliance to data processing requirements [GR PDL 002] examines essential needs in terms of trust, security and effective conformity assessment, making recommendations on how PDL can be used by organizations, operations, deployment, hardware, and software to be trusted. The report references use-cases work by other standards-developing organisations and material in the public domain. It also assesses essential requirements for PDL technology to ensure regulatory compliance to preserve security and privacy in the conduits providing data to be incorporated into the ledgers.

A Group Report on PDL Application Scenarios [GR PDL 003] describes potential scenarios for the operation of PDLs, including provision models with special emphasis on ‘as-a-service’ paradigms, and PDL infrastructure governance aspects. The report incorporates a definition of terms to be used in our future standardization work.

A Group Report titled ‘Smart Contracts: System Architecture and Functional Specification’ [GR PDL 004] details the functional components of Smart Contracts. Its scope covers:

  • A reference architecture of the technology enabling Smart Contracts – the planning, designing and programming frameworks.
  • Discussing how to engage using this architecture – the methods and frameworks the Smart Contracts building blocks possibly communicate.
  • Examining possible threats and limitations.

These reports are complemented by a Group Specification [GS PDL 005], specifying a proof-of-concept (PoC) framework validating key technical components developed in ISG PDL, with the goal of building commercial awareness and confidence and encourage development of an open ecosystem by integrating components from different players.

Two PoCs have already been successfully completed and reported. The group continues to develop further PoCs to facilitate collaboration with research projects developing or incorporating distributed ledger technologies.

LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021 – ISG PDL WORK IN PROGRESS:

  • Group Specification (GS) on architecture and security requirements for Smart Contracts

  • Group Report (GR) on offline mode - describes current challenges related to data storage and ledger operations when the PDL nodes are offline (either duty cycled or truly offline

  • GR on inter-ledger interoperability - describes key elements of interoperability to exchange information between different ledgers, and to mutually use information that has been exchanged

  • GR on research and innovation landscape for PDL standardization

  • GR describing use case scenarios, functional architecture, key functional components mechanisms of leveraging PDL for federated data management

  • MI on research landscape – to facilitate exchange of information within ETSI ISG PDL on related research projects under EU Horizon 2020 programme