Comment on Australian Securities Exchange decision to use distributed ledger technology

Below is a comment given to The Australian newspaper on the decision by the Australian Securities Exchange to use distributed ledger technology for its settlement and clearing system for equities transactions.

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When it comes to blockchain and distributed ledger technology, Australia is going beyond the hype and instead developing real solutions and governance for this technology. The ASX announcement is further evidence of this.

We also expect the ASX decision to spur more investigations by larger corporate players to unlock the vast potential of this technology.

Australia is taking a strong leadership position, creating a sound, globally applicable framework for this technology to thrive in new and existing businesses.

For example, Standards Australia is developing international blockchain standards and the CSIRO’s Data61 released two reports in June 2017 on how blockchain based systems could be adopted across government and industry in Australia.

Just last night, the Australian Senate passed legislation extending anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulation to digital currency exchanges, which operate from blockchain platforms.

Australia is understood to be one of only a handful of countries – one other being Japan – to have moved to make amendments to both its tax and anti-money laundering laws to recognise digital currencies.

Australia is developing a compelling capability in distributed ledger technologies, as there is also a wide diversity of use cases being developed here.

Alongside the ASX CHESS-replacement example, use cases are also being developed in areas such as agricultural supply chains, counterfeit food identification, peer-to-peer energy trading and the issuance of government and corporate bonds.