The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has appointed Standards Australia to lead the development of international blockchain standards. This announcement follows Standards Australia's submission of a proposal to the ISO in April 2016 recommending the development of international standards on blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies.

The appointment will see Standards Australia manage an international technical committee for the development of blockchain standards. The committee will be comprised of 35 ISO members from countries including the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Korea and Japan.

International blockchain standards will play a key role in creating greater market certainty and confidence, while supporting regulation of financial transactions, commodity exchanges and asset transfers. Standards Australia CEO, Dr Bronwyn Evans, explained that "leading the ISO blockchain committee will place Australia in a perfect position to help inform, shape and influence the future direction of international standards to support the rollout and deployment of blockchain technology."

The ability of blockchain's distributed ledger technology to settle transactions faster and more securely has captured the interest of the Australian Securities Exchange, which is contemplating the technology as a replacement for its current equities clearing and settlement system. Similarly, international consortium, R3, which includes Australia's largest banks, is currently investigating the use of blockchain technology in financial services.

The Standards Australia media release announcing its appointment can be accessed here. The Commonwealth Treasurer's media release commenting on the appointment can be accessed here.