Since 2009 over $1 billion has been invested in implementations for blockchain-based applications and this technology is growing rapidly. Some 60% of this funding has occurred since the beginning of 2015.
Although blockchain can create a faster and more secure platform for various types of transactions, all implementations share the critical security requirement of generating, storing and managing the user’s cryptographic keys. The Secure Technology Alliance which was formerly the Smart Card Alliance recently released a White Paper providing guidance for organizations implementing blockchain applications. It provides a primer on blockchain technology and highlights the need for hardware security technology such as smart cards and embedded secure elements to protect cryptographic keys and to provide convenient user access.
Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance said “It’s anticipated that a diverse set of applications will be implemented using blockchain - everything from cryptocurrencies to funds transfers, asset registries and autonomous Internet of things (IoT) device payment. With all of these implementations, proper management of cryptographic keys is critical; if those private keys are lost or stolen, any assets associated with the block chain are lost forever. This resource highlights how the use of smart card and secure element technology to manage the cryptographic keys, used in conjunction with blockchain technology, can enable convenient and secure transactions.”
The White Paper discusses various applications as well as challenges that must be addressed for blockchain implementations. These include permissions vs permission as blockchains, standards and scalability, reputation and consumer perception, and the legal, security and regulatory considerations.
The Secure Technology Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association investing heavily in education on the appropriate uses of secure technologies to enable data and privacy protection. To do this it provides training and research and produces publications and holds open forums for end-users and industry stakeholders.