NIST Issues “Blockchain Technology Overview”

Extract from article by Sharon Nelson, Esq.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a report titled “Blockchain Technology Overview.” The report is intended to provide a high-level technical overview and discusses the application of blockchain technology to electronic currency in depth as well as broader applications.

“We want to help people understand how blockchains work so that they can appropriately and usefully apply them to technology problems,” said NIST computer scientist Dylan Yaga, who is one of the authors of the report. “It’s an introduction to the things you should understand and think about if you want to use blockchain.” According to Yaga, blockchain technology is a powerful new paradigm for business.

Abstract from Draft Report

Blockchains are immutable digital ledger systems implemented in a distributed fashion (i.e., without a central repository) and usually without a central authority. At its most basic level, they enable a community of users to record transactions in a ledger public to that community such that no transaction can be changed once published. This document provides a high-level technical overview of blockchain technology. It discusses its application to electronic currency in depth, but also shows its broader applications. The purpose is to help readers understand how blockchains work, so that they can be appropriately and usefully applied to technology problems. Additionally, this document explores some specific blockchain applications and some examples of when a blockchain system should be considered for use.

Complete Report


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