Australia to Lead International Blockchain Standards Effort

A major standards body has created a technical committee for blockchain and put Australia in charge of the effort.

AccessTimeIconSep 15, 2016 at 6:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. UTC

An Australian group has been selected by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) to spearhead a technical committee developing standards for blockchain tech.

Standards Australia announced its leadership role on the committee yesterday, revealing it will oversee members from 35 countries on the effort. The ISO, founded in the 1940s, is composed of representatives from more than 160 national standards-setting bodies.

As such, in addition to Australia, the ISO work will draw representatives from standards bodies in Canada, France, the UK and the US, among others.

The announcement sends yet another strong signal that the drive to establish standards for blockchain tech is now accelerating in the finance and technology sectors and beyond.

Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia, said in a statement:

"Leading the ISO blockchain committee will place Australia in the perfect position to help inform, shape and influence the future direction of international standards to support the rollout and deployment of blockchain technology. This exciting initiative will put Australia at the centre stage of global innovation and digital disruption."

The Australian government lauded the move, a stance that echoes its past support for the technology's exploration both domestically and abroad.

"The benefits of this technology could be profound, extending right across our economy," Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement. "Standards Australia is positioning Australia as a leading global player in this exciting new area."

To observers, the decision perhaps isn't surprising as Australia has arguably emerged as a potential hotbed for the technology.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), for instance, is moving to potentially replace its market infrastructure with a blockchain system. ASX recently unveiled a prototype version of this technology, and this week, yet another Australian exchange vowed to use the same technology to undercut its market position.

The country's state-owned postal service has also been testing potential applications of blockchain for voting and digital identity.

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