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4/13/2016, 8:02 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Standards Australia pushes for blockchain ISO standards

The head of the key body for setting standards, Standards Australia, has called the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to start working on establishing global standards for technology that helped create digital currencies.

The organisation has asked the ISO, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, to begin working on standards for the digital ledger system called blockchain. It is the technology of recording and preserving information on transactions, helping create record on mined bitcoins. The digital currency has established a good part of its market value on the safety of the blockchain technology.

"We have had sufficient stakeholder support to put this proposal to the ISO," said Adrian O'Connell, acting chief executive of Standards Australia in an interview with The Australian.

"It requires international standards to help unlock its potential and the best means to do it is through the ISO," added O'Connell, referring to increasing number of examples in which financial institutions and technological companies join forces to develop the technology.

Recently, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has entered the race by taking a 5% equity stake in Digital Asset Holdings, worth AU$14.9 million. The New York-based company is engaged in developing blockchain solutions for clients. In the case of the ASX, it should develop technology to replace the ASX's CHESS sharemarket clearing system. The ASX has led the innovation in the field, being the first to adopt distributed ledger solutions for its post-trade equity market.

"By seeking to have the ISO set up a technical committee on blockchain, we are making it clear we are interested in this area," said O'Connell. In fact, the ISO already has a set of basic standards required for this.

"The ISO 27000 family of standards helps organizations keep information assets secure," reads the declaration for the information security management system (ISMS) standardisation field at the ISO. Now, this set of standards should be expanded to encompass blockchain technology, which is seen as the future of electronic payment, trade at stock markets, and even running entire central banks' business.

"There are different groups working on blockchain projects but there is no concentrated effort to setting up the technical standards and the interoperability standards which are required to enable blockchain. That is why the ISO exists. " said Adrian O'Connell.

Standards Australia is one of 160 members of the ISO, but only 5 countries' support is needed to put a proposition on the table.

Image: ASX (EPA / Dean Lewins)

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