Australia behind the wheel as global standards of blockchain take shape


Westpac director Craig Dunn will tell China this week that greater commitment from its technology leaders will help the process of setting global standards for blockchain, which Australia is conducting, to create guidelines that will reduce the costs of implementing emerging technology through global economy.

A trade delegation from Austrade arrived in China over the weekend in view of the world summit of the blockchain Wangxiang this week in Shanghai. Australia presides over the ISO (International Standards Organization) group, which develops standards for blockchains and distributed registers, and Dunn chairs the work.

Said The Australian Financial Review before a programmatic speech at the summit that "if you have an international standard, given the meaning of their work in blockchain, we must involve China".

China is deeply interested in the work of the so-called "ISO technical committee" 307, which Australia chairs, given the potential for new technology to create a new "valuable internet." Proponents believe that the blockchain will support an amount Significant global trade and trade patterns Common technical and operational standards could reduce technology development costs, encourage interoperability and market access while generating trust in new systems.

  Blockchain standards could help reduce a myriad of problems with technology including performance, scalability, ...
Blockchain standards could help reduce a myriad of problems with technology, including performance, scalability, speed, privacy and limited interoperability .

While China has blocked the bitcoin of cryptocurrency and the "initial offerings of coins" (ICO), which operate on blockchain, the technology itself constitutes a part of the country's strategic thinking and is undergoing of testing by Chinese technology giants including Alibaba, Baidu, JD and Tencent.


"Technology users should become key developers of the standard, because that means we will get a better standard that more people will probably use: the more people are involved, the better it is – a consensus process, and you need the players to make sure that the consensus has real meaning, "said Dunn.

While Standards Australia manages the development of standards independently of the government, there is a close relationship between the state and the creation of standards in China.

"The Australian leadership in this global work for the development of a global blockchain standard is respected by China, and there is tremendous interest in the way it will work," said lawyer Philippa Ryan , professor of jurisprudence at the UTS. "They appreciate that Australia is doing the job and knows that they can work with us, and they will do it in a trustworthy manner."

Russia, Germany and the United States are also closely monitoring ISO work in Australia. IBM, Microsoft, Azure, Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Google, Facebook and Salesforce have announced this year that they are working on some aspects of the blockchain. Meanwhile, 26 central banks are also exploring its use.

"This is a powerful technology and it is in the interest of the world for input on standards to be as broad as possible.We want people to be at the forefront, the main developers and users of technology, they are in the room, because of their experience, "said Mr. Dunn.

Irony for libertarians

The idea of ​​establishing rules and standards on blockchain is ironic given that bitcoin was created as a system resistant to censorship and central control. However, it is widely recognized that Internet standards, such as "TCP packet switching", have enabled the network to adapt, operate across borders and work independently of technology providers. Likewise, mobile phone standards have allowed people to call each other regardless of location or operator.

The development of the blockchain is still immature and the ISO recognizes the dangers in setting the standards for emerging technologies too early. The myriad of current Blockchain problems include concerns about performance, scalability, speed, limited interoperability, privacy and lack of clarity regarding legal risk and governance.

"International standards can help address many of these challenges," Dunn will tell the summit in China this week. They could reduce technical barriers to trade, lower switching costs for users and their ability to lift competition and facilitate cross-border partnerships, he says.

Given that ISO standards typically require two to three years to finish, Mr. some time in 2020 a blockchain standard might be in place. "

" We know that there is a danger to finalize the standards too early, "he said.

" But the momentum around technology is undeniable, so in some areas, a standard in the short term will be useful. "[19659013] Standards Australia CEO Bronwyn Evans said," Australia has been quick to identify not only the potential of the blockchain, but the need for international standards: the buy-in of experts around the world and their continued support and participation have been crucial at the start of the blockchain, and will continue to be vital to the growing use of this technology.

"Blockchain has the potential to completely transform the services we interact with every day." What started out as a public priority issue in Australia in 2016 has evolved into a global partnership to unlock the significant benefits of this progressive technology. . "

The ISO blockchain standards committee has members from 50 countries. Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, formed by Microsoft, Intel and seven of the world's largest banks, the International Telecommunication Union and SWIFT, the world bank for interbank payments.

The role of Australia chairing the ISO committee means that the country is punching above its last month the World Bank launched the world's first bond on a blockchain developed by Commonwealth Bank, while ASX is preparing to use technology to regulate and liquidate the Australian stock market and the legal profession has created the Australian National Blockchain to execute smart contracts governed by local rules.

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