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From Estonia to Dubai, blockchain technology is fast becoming part of central government planning programs in many countries, and Australia is already a member of this growing, disruptive club. Information from ComputerWorld indicates that the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), an Australian government’s agency that seeks to enable easy access to public services through digitization, would have a model blockchain-based platform by the end of the existing financial year.
Currently, the agency is in its discovery phase (Data61), they are exploring the potential of the blockchain for government applications. The program commenced in May this year with a $700,000 budget from the DTA’s existing resources. The entire program is intended to explore better ways of achieving governance and providing better services to citizens through the blockchain technology. At the start of the program, the welfare payment system in Australia received prominent mention as the first sector to be changed by a decentralized solution. Though the program has a larger goal towards equitable and efficient government service provision in Australia, its implementation, according to Randall Brugeaud, then acting DTA’s CEO and now current CEO said:
“The potential of blockchain to securely record transactions will be investigated drawing on the experience of other public and private sector organizations.”
Taking the blockchain’s disruptive and growing industry into account, the Australian government is not jumping into the blockchain waters without a strategy. The government hopes to leverage existing knowledge from the blockchain field as well as from public sector service providers, to identify what can be decentralized and what cannot. As a country that has always welcomed blockchain-based solutions, this move is only adding to the many blockchain solutions already pioneered by some institutions in the country.
Notable institutions in Australia that are pioneering blockchain solutions include the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), which is working on a new blockchain settlement system expected to be ready in 2021, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) a few months back used a blockchain-based shipping solution to transport a consignment of almonds from Victoria in Australia, to Hamburg in Germany. In collaboration with the World Bank, the CBA raised bonds of $110 million last month to finance the international bank’s operations.
Whiles countries such as Dubai, China, India, and South Korea are investing big in the distributed ledger technologies, as well as filing blockchain patents, Australia is involved in investments, patent acquisition and focusing on creating real-world solutions. The country has undoubtedly realized that blockchain is a new market and requires a lot of research and development to understand all of its possibilities. Australia’s adoption is sure but slow, they are calculated in the way they build a decentralized future for their citizens.