Australia is developing a national blockchain for businesses, according to an official statement from the government’s scientific research department. The blockchain is being developed by Data61 in partnership with computing giant IBM and a British/Australian law firm called Herbert Smith Freehills. The official name of the Blockchain will be ‘the Australian National Blockchain’.

Data61 got founded in 2017 by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). Established in 1916, CSIRO is an independent federal government agency that has over the years contributed to a wide range of researches and inventions, such as insect repellent, WiFi technology, and the polymer banknote. Data61, a branch of CSIRO, focuses specifically on digital innovation.

According to the announcement by CSIRO, the ANB is seen as a step towards the ‘internet-of-things’, or a system in which everyday processes are connected to the internet. The benefits for businesses using the ANB will be making use of smart contracts to make business agreements/transactions easier and safer. Furthermore, the blockchain will be completely legal under the Australian law.

Dr. Mark Staples, a senior research scientist at Data61, said:

“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.”

The blockchain itself is being developed by IBM. IBM actually began working on blockchain technology in Australia in May 2017 when it opened a ‘Blockchain Centre’, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, in Melbourne.

Paul Hutchison of IBM Global Business Services said:

“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 recent developments show that the Australian authorities have given up the hostile attitude towards blockchain and cryptocurrency and are now pushing towards blockchain developments themselves. Something that we can only applaud, of course. Go Australia!

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