blockchain, Standards Australia, distributed ledger technology

Standards Australia will lead a discussion about the standardisation of distributed ledger technologies ('blockchain') with 16 participating countries and 17 observing countries in Sydney on 3-6 April.

The Australian non-government body is the chair and secretariat of the ISO technical committee 'Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies', otherwise known as ISO/TC 307.

Ahead of the meeting, Standards Australia has released a whitepaper resulting from discussions between Australian blockchain users titled Roadmap for Blockchain Standards.

The whitepaper is the result of workshops with 42 stakeholders in the Australian blockchain sector, including ASIC, AUSTRAC, the ATO, IBM, the RBA and fintech hub Stone & Chalk.

The roadmap lays out five "priority issues" for ISO/TC 307, namely: the clarification of blockchain terminology; standards to address privacy, security and identity issues; governance and risk issues; a 'reference architecture standard'; and the establishment of interoperability among blockchain systems.

When it comes to fintech, the priority use cases should be digital currencies, trade finance, remittances, commodity exchange and 'other transactions', according to the roadmap.

In its capacity as chair and secretariat of ISO/TC 307, Australia is obliged to give "due consideration to all considering member nations", the whitepaper said.

"The success of ISO/TC 307 is contingent upon the alignment between the objectives set out by Australian stakeholders as part of this Australian roadmap and the objectives of all other participating members of ISO/TC 307," the whitepaper said.

Commenting on the report, FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho said blockchain "has almost unlimited potential to transform financial services, particularly in regard to international transactions".

"FinTech Australia’s blockchain members had strong input into the development of this roadmap and we intend to work closely with Standards Australia on an ongoing basis to ensure any new standards are fintech-friendly and also serve the greater good," Ms Szetho said.
"Already our members are developing exciting blockchain products, including to facilitate agricultural commodities, international payments and labour hire."


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