Date posted: 16/03/2017 2 min read

Prioritising blockchain standards

New report outlines a leadership role for Australia in the development of international standards for blockchain technologies.

In brief

  • Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison supports efforts to put blockchain technologies on Australia’s digital roadmap.
  • Standards Australia’s report outlines Australia’s priorities to increase trade and open up new markets.
  • Representatives from 30 countries will meet in Sydney in April 2017 to discuss the development and use of blockchain standards in the global financial services sector.

Standards Australia, Australia’s peak non-government, not for profit standards organisation, has released a new report aimed at driving the agenda nationally and globally to develop international standards for blockchain technologies.  

The Roadmap For Blockchain Standards report aims to prioritise Australia’s interest in becoming the global hub for distributed ledger technologies.

Standards Australia has the backing of the Australian government, which will would provide $350,000 to the NFP over four years to support the blockchain standards initiative.  

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison says Australia’s agenda to drive the blockchain standards will promote Australia’s position as a global centre for distributed ledger technologies.  

“The government realises that distributed ledger technology has applications across the economy and specifically offers the potential for greater competition in the payments system, which could bring cheaper and more efficient transactions to help businesses cut costs and expand,” Morrison says.  

”Distributed ledger technologies have the potential to re-engineer international trade in goods and services and deliver greater efficiency and security for financial transactions.”  

In releasing the report, Standards Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) present far-reaching opportunities for Australia and its international partners.   

“Blockchain has the potential to support efficient and secure real time transactions across a large number of sectors,” Evans says. “From enabling efficient and accurate financial services to providing visibility along the supply chain, and from streamlining government services to delivering confidence in identity accuracy to consumers, blockchain and DLTs have the capacity to revolutionise the way we do business.”  

Following the release of the Standards Australia report, Australia will host representatives from 30 countries as part of an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) meeting aimed at progressing the development of blockchain standards.  

Acuity podcast discusses blockchain

In the most recent episode of the Acuity podcast (above), host Mike Lynch discusses the future of blockchain with Rob Marvin, assistant business editor of PC Magazine.  

“You can use it for any sort of transaction without having a middleman,” Marvin explains in episode two of the podcast. “The blockchain works as a middleman – it validates whatever transaction you put on it.  

“If you send money back and forth; if you are executing a contract or a complex agreement, blockchain acts as an adjudication or an automated middle ground.”  

Blockchain’s unique attributes make it an attractive, cost-efficient tool for the finance sector, where trust, security and privacy are critical. While dismissing suggestions that blockchain may soon be incorporated into daily retail transactions, Marvin told the Acuity podcast that every major bank and financial institution in the world is now investing in blockchain research.  

For more on the future of blockchain, listen to episode two of the Acuity podcast now. The Acuity podcast is available to stream and download at acuitypodcast.com. Every month, the free Acuity podcast tackles the latest issues in economics, business and finance. Subscribe to the Acuity podcast now to receive new episodes of the podcast directly via your chosen channel.

The future of blockchain

The applications and implications of distributed ledger technology.

Read now