Telefónica, pioneer in the permissioned distributed ledger standardization

Telefonica is leading the creation of a new standarization group in ETSI in order to make blockchain technology an industrial standard.

Eusebio Felgueras

Eusebio Felguera

- Actualizado

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Telefónica has promoted in ETSI the creation of the first Industrial Specification Group (ISG) on Permissioned Distributed Ledger (PDL), mainly based in blockchain.   

Telefónica, together with other seven founding members, is leading the creation of a new specification group in ETSI in order to make the blockchain technology an industrial standard. It will facilitate companies to include in their portfolios services the advantages of using the blockchain technology with the security, scalability and quality their customers demand.


One of the main problems that a company faces when it comes to incorporating blockchain technology to its services relies in the need of having a network running the blockchain itself. The two possible alternatives are, either a permissionless network like the used by Bitcoin, or a permissioned and managed network.

At Telefónica, we realized that there were no specification or guidelines on how the operation of such permissioned blockchain networks should be to commercialise compliant and accountable carrier grade services. 

It is no viable to set any minimum requirement in terms of quality in premissionless (blockchain) networks, because they are the best effort networks by nature. Nodes can connect or disconnect on a voluntary basis, with no control. This solution is great for many different reasons and for several purposes, but it presents serious challenges when used by companies for commercial purposes.


“The most feasible solution for companies, if we want to be accountable and provide a predictable service quality, is the use of permissioned networks. We will need to define what the Service Level Agreements will be, but also, we will need to decide how the nodes of the network have to interoperate and interconnect, what the operative governance of such network will be, how to incorporate new nodes, etc.”


This ISG will last for two years and its duty will be to identify, categorize the standardization needs and create technical specifications. Furthermore, the participation will be open to actors from all sectors, not only from Telecommunications, to combine efforts and knowledge.

The kick of meeting will be hosted by Telefonica in Madrid, in early 2019.


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