The Bitcoin cryptocurrency composes a number of ideas -- the blockchain data structure, a distributed consensus protocol, and a notion of "smart contract" (code that enforces legal terms) -- into the first successful real-world deployment of a cryptocurrency. It is being increasingly realised that these underlying ideas are separable from Bitcoin, and, in a variety of combinations, variations and extensions, are broadly applicable to a range of applications including financial services infrastructure, legal automation, provenance (e.g., of agricultural products), supply chain management, international trade and health informatics. The emerging infrastructure for these applications is also known as "Distributed Ledger Technology".

The UNSW Interest Group in Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency is an interdisciplinary group of staff from across the university, including Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Law and Business, with interests in this new area of technology and its technical, legal, business and societal implications.

UNSW is actively building engagement with industry, government and regulators in this area, through joint projects, open seminars and workshops.