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Remitt is leading industry efforts to push for a world first ISO standard for blockchains.

The International Organization for Standards commonly known as ISO, is the International Standard setting body that is widely recognised as the foremost global standards authority.

We are supporting Standards Australia to lead this initiative– why? Because having international standards will help create confidence among users, provide assurance to regulators and Governments, enable interoperability and open up the blockchain for its potential uses.

Currently a number of different blockchains are in use.

This initiative will: define a standard; create the mechanism to be a gateway to multiple blockchains; create a technical governance framework; have interoperability and compatibility with existing financial standards; and support a regulatory framework.

The blockchain is a distributed public ledger that allows individuals who don’t know and trust each other to transfer value. At present the public perception of the blockchain is associated with digital currencies.

A distributed ledger that can transfer value, this could be property, transacting stock, services, or anything else. We covered how blockchain is a game changer back in February.

The benefits of blockchain technology reduce the need for duplication and reconciliation between parties, allowing for near real-time settlement without the need for a middle party or duplicated processes.

Other applications of this can also apply to Government transacting with citizens, including: reduced cost of operations; reducing fraud and error in payments; greater transparency of transactions between government agencies and citizens; greater financial inclusion of people currently on the fringes of the financial system; reduced costs of protecting citizens’ data while creating the possibility to share data between different entities, allowing for the creation of information marketplaces; and reduced market friction, making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to interact with local and national authorities.

Furthermore, this is an area that the Australian Government’s newly established Fintech Advisory group can and should be playing a role in shaping.

The Federal Government has previously welcomed the announcement by the ASX that it is exploring blockchain technology for a new post-trade solution for the Australian equity market. Australia is pushing the Innovation Agenda, fintech and blockchain are catalysts to innovation to create jobs, foster competition and fuel markets while delivering economic efficiencies.

Some have remarked that it may be premature to develop standards in this space, but that is precisely the point. Innovation and interoperability requires getting ahead of the curve rather than playing catch up.

Sassoon Grigorian and Gilbert Verdian are cofounders of Remitt, a fintech start-up

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