An essential part of any mass adoption strategy is ensuring that the public will have easy access to the technology or service in question. Australia is aware of this and is collaborating with Data61, the Herbert Smith Freehills law firm, and IBM to build the country’s first blockchain network.
The Land Down Under is certainly not playing around when it comes to blockchain technology. We recently reported on the successful launch of the world’s first blockchain-based bond. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the World Bank, and other investors made the initiative possible, which resulted in the bond-i raising more than $80 million.
How Blockchain Will Be Integrated
According to CIO, the new project, tentatively called the Australian National Blockchain (ANB), is being referred to as “a significant new piece of infrastructure in Australia’s digital economy.” The reason for this is that it will open the blockchain door for a range of businesses, the benefits of which could be streamlined and efficient processes. How? In part, through the introduction of innovative Smart Legal Contracts (SLCs).
These self-executing contracts are a key advantage of blockchain technology as it allows automatic payments to be made once certain predetermined and agreed-upon conditions are met. This can be used in most businesses that use traditional contracts. The ANB can also be used to exchange data and verify information.
Collaborators Give Their Input
Paul Hutchison, who is the vice president of Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services, explained the significance of the initiative, saying:
Blockchain will be to transactions what the Internet was to communication – what starts as a tool for sharing information becomes transformational once adoption is widespread. The ANB could be that inflection point for commercial blockchain, spurring innovation and economic development throughout Australia.
One of the collaborators, the Data61 group, previously reviewed how the technology could be integrated into the Australian landscape. Dr. Mark Staples, a senior research scientist at Data61, said:
Our reports identified distributed ledger technology as a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation. For complex enterprise contracts, there are huge opportunities to benefit from our research into blockchain architecture and into computational law. Smart contracts have many applications, and as the ANB progresses we look forward to exploring other business use cases to roll out.
Based on these reports, former Treasurer, and current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, had said that blockchain would have a “profound impact” on the country’s economy.
According to ZDNet, Natasha Blycha, the Blockchain and Smart Legal Contract lead from Herbert Smith Freehills law firm, said:
Technologies like blockchain are set to transform the legal industry and the wider business landscape as we know it. This presents a huge opportunity for agile and forward-thinking firms, and has potential to deliver significant benefits to our clients and the business community as a whole. Our clients are enthusiastic about process automation, and how it can support a move away from paper-based systems, simplify supply chains, and quickly and securely share information with customers and regulators.
A pilot for the project is scheduled to be launched before the end of 2018.
Pushing for Adoption in Australia
Australia has shown that this type of technology can be integrated into a variety of industries. Online travel site Webjet has introduced blockchain to a few of its partners to minimize the occurrence, and financial implications, of double bookings.
Yojee, a software platform, is working with UPS and blockchain technology to improve their supply chain management processes. Even the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will be using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline their processes.
While the country has a clear aim to capitalize on the benefits of blockchain technology, they are also looking into the advantages of cryptocurrencies. Cointree and Gobbill recently announced a partnership that will allow Australia to settle their everyday bills in Bitcoin.
What do you think about Australia’s aggressive approach to blockchain adoption? Let us know in the comments below!
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