NISTIR 8202: Blockchain Technology Overview- FINAL
A technical publication that examines the history, scope, and characteristics of this emerging technology which has enabled the development of numerous cryptocurrency systems.
Blockchains are tamper evident and tamper resistant digital ledgers implemented in a distributed fashion (i.e., without a central repository) and usually without a central authority (i.e., a bank, company, or government). At their basic level, they enable a community of users to record transactions in a shared ledger within that community, such that under normal operation of the blockchain network no transaction can be changed once published. This document provides a high-level technical overview of blockchain technology.
The publication of NISTIR 8202, Blockchain Technology Overview, a high-level technical publication that examines the history, scope, and characteristics of this emerging technology which has enabled the development of numerous cryptocurrency systems. The document considers implementation approaches, limitations and misconceptions, and areas of consideration for federal agencies and organizations seeking to understand and manage blockchain technology. It is an introductory document meant to provide the foundation for a planned series of publications on more specific aspects of blockchain.
Please note that this document has undergone substantial revisions in response to the feedback received during the public comment period. Three sections present in the draft have since been removed from the final publication: Permissioned Use Cases, Permissionless Use Cases, and Blockchain Platforms. While the rapidly changing landscape and areas of interest around this technology—as well as an ever-increasing number of platforms—have rendered these sections unsuitable for this high-level document, topics discussed in those sections are still being considered for future works. Additionally, Section 8.1.2, Bitcoin Cash, contained an erroneous and unverified statement which has since been removed in final editing.