15 September 2016
Media Release - #2016097, 2016

Australia leading international blockchain standards

The Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, today warmly welcomed the decision by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to support Australia’s proposal to develop new international standards on blockchain.

Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The technology is attracting attention across many sectors of the economy. There is growing global recognition of its potential to re-engineer transactions, delivering greater efficiency and security while also offering potential new benefits through greater data sharing.

“The Turnbull Government is excited by the opportunities of distributed ledger technology. We want Australia to be a leading global player in this new area,” the Treasurer said.

“Establishing standards around this emerging technology will provide a common language for industry, policy makers, regulators and technology developers. This will provide a basis for ensuring interoperability as this technology becomes more widely used.”

“The Turnbull Government is particularly pleased ISO is backing Australia to lead the international committee. Leading this committee will cement Australia’s position at the forefront of blockchain technology.”

A number of cutting edge blockchain developments are already underway in Australia, including consideration by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) of this technology as a replacement for the existing clearing and settlement system for the Australian equity market. Data61, the data innovation group in the CSIRO, are also leading a review to consider opportunities to apply blockchain technology across government and the private sector.

Standards Australia submitted a proposal for new international standards on blockchain technology and electronic distributed ledger technologies in April this year. The proposal has been considered by the 161 member countries of ISO, and its approval will see the development of standards that support interoperability among systems, privacy, security and terminology.