Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies -- Vocabulary

This document provides fundamental terminology for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Chaîne de blocs et technologies de registres distribués -- Vocabulaire

Blokovno veriženje in tehnike razpršenih glavnih knjig - Slovar (ISO 22739:2020)

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
12-Jul-2020
Current Stage
9092 - International Standard to be revised
Start Date
25-Nov-2020

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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 22739
First edition
2020-07
Blockchain and distributed ledger
technologies — Vocabulary
Chaîne de blocs et technologies de registres distribués — Vocabulaire
Reference number
ISO 22739:2020(E)
ISO 2020
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2020

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................10

© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 307, Blockchain and distributed ledger

technologies.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
Introduction

This document defines basic terms relating to blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to clarify

the meaning of terms and concepts used in other document within the domain of ISO/TC 307 standards.

Clear, consistent and coherent standards require clear, consistent and coherent terminology. This

document follows rules and guidelines set by ISO/TC 37, Language and terminology, for terminology

standards.

This document applies to all types of organizations (e.g., commercial enterprises, government

agencies, not-for-profit organizations). The target audience includes but is not limited to academics,

solution architects, customers, users, tool developers, regulators, auditors and standards development

organizations.
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 22739:2020(E)
Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies —
Vocabulary
1 Scope

This document provides fundamental terminology for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
asset
anything that has value to a stakeholder
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 19299:2015, 3.3, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]
3.2
block
structured data comprising block data (3.3) and a block header (3.4)
3.3
block data

structured data comprising zero or more transaction records (3.79) or references to transaction

records (3.79)
3.4
block header

structured data that includes a cryptographic link (3.16) to the previous block (3.2) unless there is no

previous block (3.2)

Note 1 to entry: A block header can also contain a timestamp (3.75), a nonce (3.51), and other DLT platform (3.29)

specific data, including a hash value (3.39) of corresponding transaction records (3.79).

3.5
block reward

reward given to miners (3.48) or validators (3.83) after a block (3.2) is confirmed (3.8) in a blockchain

system (3.7)

Note 1 to entry: A reward can be in the form of a token (3.76) or cryptocurrency (3.14).

© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
3.6
blockchain

distributed ledger (3.22) with confirmed blocks (3.9) organized in an append-only, sequential chain using

cryptographic links (3.16)

Note 1 to entry: Blockchains are designed to be tamper resistant and to create final, definitive and immutable

(3.40) ledger records (3.44).
3.7
blockchain system
system that implements a blockchain (3.6)
Note 1 to entry: A blockchain system is a type of DLT system (3.30).
3.8
confirmed
accepted by consensus (3.11) for inclusion in a distributed ledger (3.22)
3.9
confirmed block
block (3.2) that has been confirmed (3.8)
3.10
confirmed transaction
transaction (3.77) that has been confirmed (3.8)
3.11
consensus

agreement among DLT nodes (3.27) that 1) a transaction (3.77) is validated (3.81) and 2) that the

distributed ledger (3.22) contains a consistent set and ordering of validated (3.81) transactions (3.77)

Note 1 to entry: Consensus does not necessarily mean that all DLT nodes (3.27) agree.

Note 2 to entry: The details regarding consensus differ among DLT (3.23) designs and this is a distinguishing

characteristic between one design and another.
3.12
consensus mechanism
rules and procedures by which consensus (3.11) is reached
3.13
crypto-asset
digital asset (3.20) implemented using cryptographic techniques
3.14
cryptocurrency
crypto-asset (3.13) designed to work as a medium of value exchange

Note 1 to entry: Cryptocurrency involves the use of decentralized control and cryptography (3.17) to secure

transactions (3.77), control the creation of additional assets (3.1), and verify the transfer of assets (3.1).

3.15
cryptographic hash function

function mapping binary strings of arbitrary length to binary strings of fixed length, such that it is

computationally costly to find for a given output an input that maps to the output, it is computationally

infeasible to find for a given input a second input that maps to the same output, and it is computationally

infeasible to find any two distinct inputs that map to the same output

Note 1 to entry: Computational feasibility depends on the specific security requirements and environment.

2 © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
3.16
cryptographic link

reference, constructed using a cryptographic hash function (3.15) technique, that points to data

Note 1 to entry: A cryptographic link is used in the block header (3.4) to reference the previous block (3.2) in

order to create the append-only, sequential chain that forms a blockchain (3.6).
3.17
cryptography

discipline that embodies the principles, means, and methods for the transformation of data in order to

hide their semantic content, prevent their unauthorized use, or prevent their undetected modification

[SOURCE: ISO 7498-2:1989, 3.3.20, modified — the NOTE has been removed.]
3.18
decentralized application
DApp
application that runs on a decentralized system (3.19)
3.19
decentralized system

distributed system (3.32) wherein control is distributed among the persons or organizations

participating in the operation of the system

Note 1 to entry: In a decentralized system, the distribution of control among persons or organizations

participating in the system is determined by the system’s design.
3.20
digital asset

asset (3.1) that exists only in digital form or which is the digital representation of another asset (3.1)

3.21
digital signature

data which, when appended to a digital object, enable the user of the digital object to authenticate its

origin and integrity

[SOURCE: ISO 14641:2018, 3.17, modified —"digital document" has been replaced with "digital object".]

3.22
distributed ledger

ledger (3.43) that is shared across a set of DLT nodes (3.27) and synchronized between the DLT nodes

using a consensus mechanism (3.12)

Note 1 to entry: A distributed ledger is designed to be tamper resistant, append-only and immutable (3.40)

containing confirmed (3.8) and validated (3.81) transactions (3.77).
3.23
DLT
distributed ledger technology
technology that enables the operation and use of distributed ledgers (3.22)
3.24
DLT account
distributed ledger technology account
representation of an entity (3.34) participating in a transaction (3.77)

Note 1 to entry: A smart contract (3.72), digital asset (3.20), or one or more private keys (3.62), for example, can

be associated with a DLT account.
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved 3
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
ISO 22739:2020(E)
3.25
DLT address
distributed ledger technology address
value that identifies a DLT account (3.24) participating in a transaction (3.77)
3.26
DLT network
distributed ledger technology network
network of DLT nodes (3.27) which make up a DLT system (3.30)
3.27
DLT node
distributed ledger technology node
node

device or process that participates in a network and stores a complete

or partial replica of the ledger records (3.44)
3.28
DLT oracle
distributed ledger technology oracle
oracle

service that updates a distributed ledger (3.22) using data from outside of a DLT system (3.30)

Note 1 to entry: DLT oracles are useful for smart contracts (3.72) that cannot access sources of data external to

the DLT system (3.30).
3.29
DLT platform
distributed ledger technology platform

set of processing, storage and communication entities (3.34) which together provide the capabilities of

the DLT system (3.30) on each DLT node (3.27)
3.30
DLT system
distributed ledger system
distributed ledger techn
...

FINAL
INTERNATIONAL ISO/FDIS
DRAFT
STANDARD 22739
ISO/TC 307
Blockchain and distributed ledger
Secretariat: SA
technologies — Vocabulary
Voting begins on:
2020­04­13
Voting terminates on:
2020­06­08
RECIPIENTS OF THIS DRAFT ARE INVITED TO
SUBMIT, WITH THEIR COMMENTS, NOTIFICATION
OF ANY RELEVANT PATENT RIGHTS OF WHICH
THEY ARE AWARE AND TO PROVIDE SUPPOR TING
DOCUMENTATION.
IN ADDITION TO THEIR EVALUATION AS
Reference number
BEING ACCEPTABLE FOR INDUSTRIAL, TECHNO­
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
LOGICAL, COMMERCIAL AND USER PURPOSES,
DRAFT INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS MAY ON
OCCASION HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE
LIGHT OF THEIR POTENTIAL TO BECOME STAN­
DARDS TO WHICH REFERENCE MAY BE MADE IN
NATIONAL REGULATIONS. ISO 2020
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2020

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH­1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 749 09 47
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................10

© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non­governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 307, Blockchain and distributed ledger

technologies.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
Introduction

This document defines basic terms relating to blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to clarify

the meaning of terms and concepts used in other document within the domain of ISO/TC 307 standards.

Clear, consistent and coherent standards require clear, consistent and coherent terminology. This

document follows rules and guidelines set by ISO/TC 37, Language and terminology, for terminology

standards.

This document applies to all types of organizations (e.g., commercial enterprises, government

agencies, not-for-profit organizations). The target audience includes but is not limited to academics,

solution architects, customers, users, tool developers, regulators, auditors and standards development

organizations.
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
FINAL DRAFT INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies —
Vocabulary
1 Scope

This document provides fundamental terminology for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
asset
anything that has value to a stakeholder
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 19299:2015, 3.3, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]
3.2
block
structured data comprising a block header (3.4) and block data (3.3)
3.3
block data

structured data comprising zero or more transaction records (3.79) or references to transaction

records (3.79)
3.4
block header

structured data that includes a cryptographic link (3.16) to the previous block (3.2) unless there is no

previous block (3.2)

Note 1 to entry: A block header can also contain a timestamp (3.75), a nonce (3.51), and other DLT platform (3.29)

specific data, including a hash value (3.39) of corresponding transaction records (3.79).

3.5
block reward

reward given to miners (3.48) or validators (3.83) after a block (3.2) is confirmed (3.8) in a blockchain

system (3.7)

Note 1 to entry: A reward can be in the form of a token (3.76) or cryptocurrency (3.14).

© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved 1
---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
3.6
blockchain

distributed ledger (3.22) with confirmed blocks (3.9) organized in an append-only, sequential chain using

cryptographic links (3.16)

Note 1 to entry: Blockchains are designed to be tamper resistant and to create final, definitive and immutable

(3.40) ledger records (3.44).
3.7
blockchain system
system that implements a blockchain (3.6)
Note 1 to entry: A blockchain system is a type of DLT system (3.30).
3.8
confirmed
accepted by consensus (3.11) for inclusion in a distributed ledger (3.22)
3.9
confirmed block
block (3.2) that has been confirmed (3.8)
3.10
confirmed transaction
transaction (3.77) that has been confirmed (3.8)
3.11
consensus

agreement among DLT nodes (3.27) that 1) a transaction (3.77) is validated (3.81) and 2) that the

distributed ledger (3.22) contains a consistent set and ordering of validated (3.81) transactions (3.77)

Note 1 to entry: Consensus does not necessarily mean that all DLT nodes (3.27) agree.

Note 2 to entry: The details regarding consensus differ among DLT (3.23) designs and this is a distinguishing

characteristic between one design and another.
3.12
consensus mechanism
rules and procedures by which consensus (3.11) is reached
3.13
crypto-asset
digital asset (3.20) implemented using cryptographic techniques
3.14
cryptocurrency
crypto-asset (3.13) designed to work as a medium of value exchange

Note 1 to entry: Cryptocurrency involves the use of decentralized control and cryptography (3.17) to secure

transactions (3.77), control the creation of additional assets (3.1), and verify the transfer of assets (3.1).

3.15
cryptographic hash function

function mapping binary strings of arbitrary length to binary strings of fixed length, such that it is

computationally costly to find for a given output an input that maps to the output, it is computationally

infeasible to find for a given input a second input that maps to the same output, and it is computationally

infeasible to find any two distinct inputs that map to the same output

Note 1 to entry: Computational feasibility depends on the specific security requirements and environment.

2 © ISO 2020 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
3.16
cryptographic link

reference, constructed using a cryptographic hash function (3.15) technique, that points to data

Note 1 to entry: A cryptographic link is used in the block header (3.4) to reference the previous block (3.2) in

order to create the append-only, sequential chain that forms a blockchain (3.6).
3.17
cryptography

discipline that embodies the principles, means, and methods for the transformation of data in order to

hide their semantic content, prevent their unauthorized use, or prevent their undetected modification

[SOURCE: ISO 7498-2:1989, 3.3.20, modified — the NOTE has been removed.]
3.18
decentralized application
DApp
application that runs on a decentralized system (3.19)
3.19
decentralized system

distributed system (3.32) wherein control is distributed among the persons or organizations

participating in the operation of the system

Note 1 to entry: In a decentralized system, the distribution of control among persons or organizations

participating in the system is determined by the system’s design.
3.20
digital asset

asset (3.1) that exists only in digital form or which is the digital representation of another asset (3.1)

3.21
digital signature

data which, when appended to a digital object, enable the user of the digital object to authenticate its

origin and integrity

[SOURCE: ISO 14641:2018, 3.17, modified —"digital document" has been replaced with "digital object".]

3.22
distributed ledger

ledger (3.43) that is shared across a set of DLT nodes (3.27) and synchronized between the DLT nodes

(3.27) using a consensus mechanism (3.12)

Note 1 to entry: A distributed ledger is designed to be tamper resistant, append-only and immutable (3.40)

containing confirmed (3.8) and validated (3.81) transactions (3.77).
3.23
DLT
distributed ledger technology
technology that enables the operation and use of distributed ledgers (3.22)
3.24
DLT account
distributed ledger technology account
representation of an entity (3.34) participating in a transaction (3.77)

Note 1 to entry: A smart contract (3.72), digital asset (3.20), or one or more private keys (3.62), for example, can

be associated with a DLT account.
© ISO 2020 – All rights reserved 3
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
ISO/FDIS 22739:2020(E)
3.25
DLT address
distributed ledger technology address
value that identifies a DLT account (3.24) participating in a transaction (3.77)
3.26
DLT network
distributed ledger technology network
network of DLT nodes (3.27) which make up a DLT system (3.30)
3.27
DLT node
distributed ledger technology node
node

device or process that participates in a network and stores a complete

or partial replica of the ledger records (3.44)
3.28
DLT oracle
distributed ledger technology oracle
oracle

service that updates a distributed ledger (3.22) using data from outside of a DLT system (3.30)

Note 1 to entry: DLT oracles are useful for smart contracts (3.72) that cannot access sources of data external to

the DLT system (3.30).
3.29
...

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