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美国国家标准与技术研究所发布区块链技术概念报告

美国国家标准与技术研究所是美国商务部下面的一个非监管机构。为了阐明区块链技术的核心特点、局限性和常见误解,近日该机构专门发布了一份有关区块链技术的概述报告

该报告的服务对象是区块链的初学者,尤其是考虑利用该技术的组织机构。报告提醒道,企业们时常受到新技术的诱惑,但他们在采用区块链技术之前,应该首先明确该技术是否适合他们的发展。

该报告还指出了人们对区块链技术控制、身份管理和信任方面的误解。尽管区块链技术是去中心化的,并且没有中央机构对其控制,但作为该系统的创建者和维护者们,开发人员确实对区块链技术有一定的控制程度。

同样,区块链技术缺乏对用户行为方面的控制能力,并且只有执行“交易规则和具体规范”的权力。报告称,人们经常误以为区块链提供了通过私钥获得真实身份的方式。

报告作者还指出,人们误以为区块链技术是一种无需信任的系统。但事实上,区块链技术需要通过信任来正常运转,开发人员和用户合作之间的信任是必不可少的。

谈及区块链技术的局限性方面,报告指出,区块链技术需要大量的能源和宽带供应。此外,由于用户必须管理自己的私钥,因此丢失密钥比在中心化平台上丢失用户名或密码的风险更大。

该报告将公开征求公众意见,截至2月23日。

The National Institute of Standards and Technology – a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce – has released an overview of blockchain technology, aimed to clarify the central characteristics of the technology, its limitations and common misconceptions.

The document targets beginners to blockchain, specifically organizations considering adopting the technology, and those trying to move beyond the "hype" surrounding blockchain. The authors remind readers that businesses are often tempted by new technology, but that they should be sure that the blockchain is appropriate for their operations before diving in.

"A company's IT managers need to be able to say, we understand this, and then be able to argue whether or not the company needs to use it based on that clear understanding", said Dylan Yaga, computer scientist and one author of the report.

The report identifies the most common misconceptions about the blockchain as relating to control, identity management and trust, explaining that, although the blockchain is decentralized and no central institution controls it, developers, as the creators and maintainers of the system, do exercise some level of control over the blockchain.

Likewise, blockchain lacks control over users' conduct, and only has the authority to execute "transaction rules and specifications". People, the paper says, are often mistaken in thinking that the blockchain provides a means of attributing real-world identities to those associated with private keys.

The authors also point out that there is a misconception that blockchains are a trustless systems, and say that, in fact, a great deal of trust in the technology, developers and user cooperation is necessary for the blockchain to function.

As for limitations of the system, NIST states that the immense amount of energy and bandwidth required to power the blockchain is problematic. Further, because users must manage their own private keys, losing the key comes with higher risks than losing a username or a password on centralized platforms.

The report is open for public feedback until Feb. 23rd.


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