I was just being made aware of the standardization process about blockchain and distributed Leger technologies. https://www.iso.org/committee/6266604.html

In this picture from the talk that I am attending you can see that many institutions are part of the process:

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However I did not see any institution close to Bitcoin development. I asked if the standard will be compatible with Bitcoin. The presenter said they are in contact with Bitcoin developers. Where could I find more information about this?

1 Answer 1



Committee efforts which have to aim of standardizing anything to do with the bitcoin protocol should be considered attacks against Bitcoin. Bitcoin was created specifically to eliminate the need for a (trusted/centralized) "committee". The rules of the Bitcoin protocol are decided independently by each user running the software which validates them, of their own volition. Bitcoin Core developers can only provide software to enable users to interact on the network which they choose to interact. They cannot force users to follow any rules.

There is not, and will never be a committee to decide these rules. The market decides which Bitcoin rules will succeed. This will not stop bad actors from trying to control it. You should make the effort to call them out as hostile, because they are hostile, even if they did not intend to be - they just don't yet understand that Bitcoin has made their role as rulemakers obsolete.

There is no harm in attempts to standardize methods and software surrounding Bitcoin (such as POS systems, hardware, wallets, network protocols), but these efforts are already being standardized as part of the BIP and BOLT processes, and by developers finding opportunities in the market, and these move far faster than any ISO committee will ever be able to keep up with.

This committee essentially has nothing to do with bitcoin at all. It is another "blockchain not bitcoin" effort which can only do damage to Bitcoin. It is initiated by people who are unable to accept the concept that nobody is in charge and nobody decides the rules. If they were interested in bitcoin they would be contributing on github and the mailing lists. The fact that they don't and just want to stick an ISO stamp on it is clear where their proirities lie. For them, the world seems chaotic without standards, but for Bitcoin, the chaos is its strength - it means that it is immune to external influence from specific parties and it does not need to conform to any societal norms which currently exist, or may exist in the future. Bitcoin is the free market. There are a lot of people who hate free markets and will make any effort they can to undermine Bitcoin.

I believe the majority of Bitcoin Core developers feel similar, and will ignore any attempts from ISO to influence decision making in the development of Bitcoin Core, as well as other Bitcoin clients.

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    While I agree with most of what you're writing, I don't think it's much of an answer to OP's question. I don't know exactly what ISO is trying to standardize, but I'd be very surprised if controlling Bitcoin's consensus rules is something they're remotely interested in. Mar 8, 2019 at 5:16
  • As I was sitting in the presentation of the person who was from the standard body I can say that their effort in itself seemed legit to me and not remotely like an attack on btc. Their goal is not to influence Bitcoin but in particular come up with standard terms and semantics / processes. I think stuff like that has some value as large companies usually seem to inflexble to adopt to quick moving / nor standardized tech. As the progress is ongoing anyway I think it makes sense to help them understand Bitcoins needs. Mar 8, 2019 at 18:08
  • I've never heard of any contact from ISO and my email doesn't reflect any. In my past non-bitcoin experience ISO process in general is pay to play (or national appointments), and not really all that compatible what we'd consider to be an open public process. It's not unusual for people involved with competing clone systems to fraudulently misrepresent themselves as somehow representing 'bitcoin' in commercial settings, so I wouldn't be shocked to learn that was going on here too.
    – G. Maxwell
    Mar 16, 2019 at 19:12

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