Guidelines for using blockchain in sensor networks

February 15, 2021 //By Nick Flaherty
ETSI releases guidelines for blockchain in sensor networks
ETSI GR PDL 004 defines an architecture and functional framework for blockchain smart contracts and permissioned distributed ledger technology in the Internet of Things

European standards group ETSI has launched a guidlies for using blockchain distributed ledger technology in sensor networks and the Internet of Things.

The ETSI Industry Specification Group on Permissioned Distributed Ledger (ISG PDL) has recently released a number of reports covering data record compliance to regulation, application scenarios and smart contracts.

ETSI GR PDL 004 defines an architecture and functional framework for smart contracts and their planning, coding, and testing. The smart contract is a computer program stored in a distributed ledger system. Since smart contracts are code, if they are not well planned, designed, coded and tested, they can leave the system vulnerable to external attacks and internal errors. 

“Most ledgers in ICT have been centralized so far, but the recent approaches based on distributed ledgers provide higher openness and better resiliency”, says Diego Lopez, Chair of ETSI ISG PDL. “Specifications on detailed aspects of PDL are expected to follow soon; they will enable industries to develop interoperable solutions for permissioned distributed ledgers,” said Raymond Forbes, Vice Chair of ETSI ISG PDL.

This follows ETSI GR PDL 002 on the “Applicability and compliance to data processing requirements”. This describes the implications of the conduits used to connect data sources such as sensors and gateways to distributed ledgers in utility and related industries. The report also defines how regulatory aspects for data infrastructure security and privacy can be satisfied. An example of the integration of the PDL into the overall ecosystem of a machine shows that this integration provides a safe and reliable environment and secure data exchange between multiple enterprise applications.

ETSI GR PDL 003 is aimed at telecom operators, Internet and over-the-top service providers implementing the technology. It includes provision models with special emphasis on as-a-service paradigms and PDL infrastructure governance aspects.

PDL blockchain technology enables lower cost and delay for recording a transaction, lower cost of a consensus algorithm, offline operation, and the fairness properties among participants.

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