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National Blockchain Platform to be Launched in Australia

Australia is fast establishing itself one of the global leaders of blockchain innovation. With a new blockchain initiative, Australian businesses will be able to leverage blockchain-powered legal smart contracts in various business processes for enhanced efficiency and transparency.Australian National Blockchain Platform to be LaunchedThe initiative, labelled Australian National Blockchain (ANB), is being developed with the collaborative efforts of CSIRO’s Data61, law firm Herbert Smith Freehill, and IBM. The large-scale cross-industry blockchain will help local companies to utilise blockchain for various steps in the lifecycle of a contract – from negotiation to signing to continuing the term of an agreement. The use of blockchain-based smart contracts will also enable organisations to automatically activate processes and events.ANB’s Smart Legal Contracts (SLC) will also come equipped with smart clauses which can record data from external sources such Internet of Things (IoT) device data, thus allowing these clauses to self-execute in case the conditions stipulated in the contract are fulfilled.“Data61’s independence and world-leading expertise will help to catalyse 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,”said Dr Mark Staples, senior research scientist at CSIRO’s Data61.This new piece of infrastructure is poised to transform the legal industry and the overall business landscape by promoting paper-free, automated businesses processes and simplifying supply chains. Blockchain-powered permissioned networks will allow parties to share information with relevant stakeholders such as customers and regulators quickly and securely.Blockchain innovation in Australia at full throttleAccording to a recent survey by PwC, Australia is among the blockchain leaders of the world along with USA and China. Recently, the Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, along with the World Bank, created and managed the world’s first blockchain-based bond. The bond, called Bond-i, has raised $110 million from investors such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NSW Treasury Corporation, Northern Trust, Treasury Corporation of Victoria, local pension fund First State Super, QBE, and SAFA.  The blockchain-based bond is the first step towards removing all manual processes in bond issuance and making the process fully automated.The country also has several other blockchain and crypto initiatives underway. Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is exploring blockchain for developing for welfare payment distribution, and the prototype is expected be ready by mid-2019. The government also granted a $1.7 million grant to the Sustainable Sugar Project, will use blockchain technology for tracking the provenance of sugar supplies to Australia.In another initiative which aims to promote crypto adoption, cryptocurrency exchange Cointree and billing platform Gobbill have partnered to enable holders of cryptocurrencies to pay their household bills for utilities and services in crypto. Image from Shutterstock

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