NIST’s new taxonomy, digital resumes in Canada, state initiatives — GCN

Blockchain news: NIST’s new taxonomy, digital resumes in Canada, state initiatives

Blockchain identity management. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued “A Taxonomic Approach to Understanding Emerging Blockchain Identity Management Systems.” The draft white paper provides an overview of the standards, building blocks and system architectures that support emerging blockchain-based identity management systems, NIST said. It covers both top-down and bottom-up governance models for both identifier and credential management, addressing the associated security and privacy risks. It also includes two use cases — renting a vehicle and exchanging concert tickets — to help explain how blockchain-based identity management works. 

“The terminology, concepts, properties, and architectures introduced in this work can facilitate understanding and communications amongst business owners, software developers, cybersecurity professionals within an organization, and individuals who are or will be using such systems,” NIST said. Comments will be accepted until Aug. 9.

The Canadian government is issuing blockchain credentials for employees who work as project-based “free agents” across multiple agencies in a one-year pilot project. The Blockcerts will be “a permanent, self-owned and secure record of their skills and experiences,” making resumes or reference-checking “a thing of the past,” according to blog post by Canada’s CIO Alex Benay. The Canadian government worked with the MIT Media Lab and Learning Machine, a provider of digital credentials, on the pilot to develop an international open standard for issuing the Blockcerts digital credentials.

Enthusiasm for blockchain in the government space is subsiding, according to a Gartner blog, and has been “replaced with a greater sense of realism informed by experience.” The research firm also predicts that “by 2021, 90% of current enterprise blockchain platform implementations will require replacement within 18 months to remain competitive, secure and avoid obsolescence.”

The North Carolina Blockchain Initiative has been formed to study the unique attributes and use-cases of blockchain technology, virtual assets, smart contracts and digital tokens before developing a series of recommendations that promote opportunities for economic growth and cost efficiencies and strengthens the state’s position as a leader in technological innovation.

The Florida Blockchain Task Force has been established to study if and how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from blockchain-based systems for recordkeeping, data security, financial transactions and service delivery. It also calls for identifying ways blockchain can be used to improve government interaction with businesses and the public.

Rhode Island is looking for blockchain technology to help it become more efficient, transparent, accurate, secure and business-friendly. Possible proofs of concept described in the request for proposals address blockchain’s capabilities for limiting fraud, reducing friction in contracts, tracking medical marijuana, crafting an authoritative record of chain-of-custody for criminal evidence as well as facilitating records management and licensing.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.


Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company’s government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.


Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.


Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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