The first part of the talk will cover various activities carried out by the IEEE Blockchain Initiative. IEEE, pronounced “Eye-triple-E,” stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE is one of the world’s largest technical professional organizations with 423,000 members in 160 countries. IEEE also develops global standards in a broad range of industries and has over 1000 active standards. In January 2018, the IEEE Blockchain initiative was launched to pursue a comprehensive set of projects and activities through various committees focused on community development, conferences, education, publications, standards, and special projects. Currently, IEEE has several blockchain standards under development (P2418 and P2140 series) focused on the areas of digital assets, IoT, energy, supply chain, agriculture, and healthcare.
The second part of the talk will provide a perspective on the evolution of the blockchain field and an overview of the current blockchain ecosystem. In 2008, Bitcoin was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto as a peer-to-peer electronic cash by solving the double-spending problem. The distributed software architecture underlying Bitcoin was referred to as Blockchain. In 2013, Vitalik Buterin proposed Ethereum as a global distributed computing platform programmable through smart contracts. Blockchain is fundamentally a distributed peer-to-peer software architecture that combines several concepts. Over the last decade, several architectural variations have been introduced that can be broadly categorized as public, permissioned, or private blockchains. The public blockchain community is striving to develop decentralized applications to solve social problems such as identity, banking, data privacy, registry, etc. Whereas in the enterprise space, consortiums such as EEA, R3, Hyperledger are developing industry-grade permissioned/private blockchain tools and technologies. Now, leading cloud service providers including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu are offering Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms for financial market, supply chain, trade, etc.