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Australia confirms plans to develop a National Blockchain Platform

The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has confirmed that the development of a new national blockchain platform is now underway.

Australian businesses and government-led enterprises have embraced blockchain in-between applications all the way from air travel to energy management, and now the nation’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has announced the development of what will be called the Australian National Blockchain.

As a nationwide platform, the Australian National Blockchain will serve as an infrastructure platform for Australia’s digital economy, where businesses will be able to develop smart contracts as well as confirm the status and arrangement of legal proceedings with transparency.

The platform will broadly enable Australian businesses to use smart contracts to manage business events and further record information from sources such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The Australian National Blockchain will first be trialed on IBM’s Blockchain platform, and will see CSIRO, Herbert Smith Freehills, Data61, and IBM collaborate to develop the platform in a pilot phase.

Speaking on the development, Dr Mark Staples – a senior research scientist at Data61 – expressed that “Our reports identified distributed ledger technology as a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation. Data61’s independence and world-leading expertise will help to catalyze the creation of digital infrastructure for Australian businesses to transition to a digitally-enabled future. 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.”

Paul Hutchison, vice president and partner, Cognitive Process Transformation, at IBM Global Business Services added that“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.”

The platform aims to collate the interests of Australian regulators, banks, law firms, as well as businesses, and is scheduled to launch before the close of the year.