Australia is working on a national blockchain that small businesses can use as part of the digital economy revolution. The government through its science research division Data61 has engaged the services of tech giant IBM (NYSE:IBM) and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to work on the proposed blockchain.
Australia National Blockchain
IBM, which has forged a string of partnerships and helped a number of companies come up with blockchain innovations, to work o blockchain itself.
The blockchain is geared towards making it easy for small businesses to transition away from paper-based systems, in addition to helping them carry transactions out on smart legal contracts. The technology is aimed at making it possible for businesses to automate transactions based on agreed terms.
Businesses will also be able to use the national blockchain to enhance supply chains as well as leverage its capabilities in the sharing of data in securing it. According to senior research at Data61 Mark Staples, digital ledger technology presents a significant opportunity for Australia to drive local innovations and create productivity.
“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,” said Dr. Mark Staples, a senior research scientist at Data61.
The pilot program should be up and running before the end of the year. Data61 intends to invite regulators, banks, law firms and other businesses to test the program before its official launch. The long-term plan is making the blockchain platform available to all Australian companies to be able to harness the benefits of digitized contracts.
Australia is not new to blockchain technology, a number of local companies having already unveiled innovations tied to the technology for enhancing efficiency. For instance, travel site Webjet is currently leveraging the technology’s capabilities to prevent double bookings as well as prevent other financial complications.