As blockchain proliferates, standards push is unveiled by ICC

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has launched the Digital Trade Standards Initiative (DSI), a collaborative cross-industry effort to enable the standardisation of digital trade.

The DSI will build on previous work carried to digitise trade, notably through the development of open trade and technology standards to promote interoperability and standardisation of data formats and processes.

That includes a “variety of blockchain-based networks and technology platforms that have entered the trade space over the past two years,” said the ICC in a statement.

Too often, digitisation is enacted through bilateral agreements between institutions that require members to run on the same platform. This has resulted in siloed data and bespoke trade and trade finance processes, says the organisation.

“Universal standards will connect existing digital islands and enable market forces to improve customer experience,” commented ICC secretary general John Denton. “As a leading and neutral voice in the industry, it made sense to bring this project under the umbrella of ICC,” he added.

Membership of the DSI will be open to all organisations across industries and geographies supporting the project’s core mandate, including existing industry associations and initiatives. It will be supported with funding from the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Singapore as well as ICC.

ICC plans to appoint a full-time management team, with a steering committee to provide guidance and set priorities for the project’s development, and has started looking for a managing director to lead operations.

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