Australia is showing yet again that they are fully embracing blockchain. The country is using the technology to streamline their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) payments process.


When it comes to the land Down Under, blockchain technology definitely appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. From using it to replace existing systems on their Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to successfully launching the world’s first entirely blockchain-based bond, authorities in the country seem to be focused on enjoying the benefits of this disruptive technology.

Live Bitcoin News also recently reported on how Australia is using blockchain to issue digital driver’s licenses, which looks set to streamline the paper-intensive process. The next challenge, according to ZDNet, is integrating the technology into the government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Blockchain

Blockchain is Making Money Smart

The country’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Data61 is collaborating with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) for this new initiative. The partnership has developed an app to be used in its Making Money Smart trial.

As with blockchain-based smart contracts, NDIS individuals can receive different funding amounts to be used on different predetermined services. These individuals and their carers will also be able to connect with NDIS service providers and conclude transactions without any paperwork.

This programmable, or smart, money will be made possible with a blockchain-based token solution that can be integrated into Australia’s New Payments Platform.

The CBA’s head of experimentation and blockchain, Sophie Gilder, explained:

Programmable money represents an opportunity to re-envisage how we think about money and how payments function across the economy.

Dr. Mark Staples, who is Data61’s Senior Principal Researcher in the Software and Computational Systems program, gave his insight:

This has been a really interesting research project into how blockchain technology can integrate with new payments technologies to provide more choice, control, and flexibility for conditional payments for NDIS participants and service providers.

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A Range of Uses for Blockchain in Australia

However, this type of approach can be used in many other sectors. Staples explained:

We’re particularly interested in the broader research opportunity around programmable money, because it should reduce friction in business transactions, and enable companies to create new business models and innovative ways of delivering and paying for products and services. This would benefit customers and reduces the administrative burden involved in managing payments.

As with other countries around the world, the Australia government has given its support to the exploration and implementation of blockchain technology. The country’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has also previously discussed the possibility of using blockchain to assist in welfare payment distribution. The agency’s acting CEO, Randall Brugeaud, had said:

Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system, then working with our digital service standard, we’ll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year.

The Making Money Smart trial is currently being tested by some NDIS individuals and their carers.

Do you think that the success of the NDIS initiative will help pave the way for even more blockchain-based projects in the country? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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