New document seeks to guide IT managers who may be asked to use the technology.
The US agency National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a public draft of a new guide to blockchain technology. The goal of the document is to explain blockchain and related technology to business, and is written for those with no previous experience.
A PDF of the document, “Blockchain Technology Overview,” is available on the NIST website. The agency is accepting comments from the public on the document through February 23, 2018.
Blockchain is the underlying technology for Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies becoming popular both for developing new software applications and as a tool for finance.
NIST is a non-regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to advise both the government and industry on technology, and to determine appropriate standards for a wide variety of industrial methods and products.
The document explains the central aspects of blockchain technology, including limitations and common misconceptions. The authors say businesses are often tempted by new technology. As lead writer Dylan Yaga says in the introduction, “A company’s IT managers need to be able to say, ‘we understand this,’ and then be able to argue whether or not the company needs to use it based on that clear understanding.”