Category Archives: Commonwealth Bank

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Australian Science Agency Praises “Smart Money” Blockchain Trial Success

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has completed a blockchain trial with one of Australia’s big four banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The trial, announced last month, tested CSIRO’s blockchain-powered “smart money” with the help of carers and participants within Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS was initiated by the Australian government for citizens with disabilities, including intellectual, physical, sensory and psycho-social. It creates a managed market for disability services in Australia.

The trial revealed that the technology could increase patients’ choices and their levels of control over their support. Also, it was seen to help eliminate the need for unnecessary paperwork and reduced the risk of both fraud and financial calculation errors resulting in misspending. Ten participants and carers took part in the trials.

CSIRO’s Data61 principal software and computational systems researcher, Dr Mark Staples, claimed that the trial was insightful in giving researchers a greater understanding of both the pitfalls and some of the benefits of integrating smart money payments into the NDIS system. He added:

“This automation and flexibility could reduce friction and enable greater innovation in many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits… directly connecting citizens to public policy programs, empowering people to optimize their spending through things like smart savings plans and smart diets, and reducing costs for businesses, including through the potential for self-taxing transactions.”

Commonwealth Bank’s head of government and ADIs, Julie Hunter, saw wide applications for the new technology in all sectors including the non-profit environment.

Australia’s previous prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had asked the country’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to research blockchain earlier this year. Principally, he asked for a focus on how the technology could be used to improve government services, including welfare payments. The Australian government granted the agency a budget of AUD 700,000 (USD 530,000) to carry out an investigation into DLT.

The move is one of many focused on how the government can best leverage blockchain’s advantages, including looking into how the technology can be used for making social security welfare payments to citizens. This latest CSIRO/Commonwealth Bank collaboration appears to be in line with the government’s current direction regarding implementing DLT into public services and other programs.

The new prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, plans to utilize blockchain technology to bring “much tougher competition” to the country’s big banks and dominant industries. He argued that the Australian banking system will be able to utilize DLT to help to transform areas of consumer data rights, open banking reforms, and new legislation.

 

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World Bank Raises $73 Million From First Blockchain Bond

The World Bank has printed a public blockchain bond, its first significant foray into blockchain technology.

The humanitarian global bank has raised USD 73 million for the two-year bond, called “bondi”, in typically Australian style, through its funding arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The target was originally between USD 50 million and USD 100 million aimed at supporting a range of sustainability projects in developing countries around the globe.

One of Australia’s big four banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, who had worked on the project with the World Bank prior to its launch, facilitated the bond issuance.

The 2.2% 28 August 2020 Kangaroo bond was priced at 99.901 for a yield of 2.251%, in line with asset swaps plus 23bp guidance. Pricing was in line with normal Kangaroo bond levels with Triple-A rated German government-guaranteed KfW having paid asset swaps plus 25bp for a AUD 200 million two-year Kangaroo on 10 August, according to Nasdaq.

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

The World Bank has three priorities in working with countries to end poverty and boost prosperity for the poorest people. It helps to create sustainable economic growth, the surest path out of poverty. It also invests in people, through access to health care, education, water and sanitation, and energy, building resilience to shocks and threats that can roll back decades of progress.

As Bitcoin News has previously reported, the World Bank supports its humanitarian programs through an annual USD 50-60 billion bond sale. According to Reuters, the Commonwealth Bank was selected because Australia is known for its established banking infrastructure and the widely-traded Australian dollar.

Recent 2018 projects funded by the World Bank include improving agricultural research in Afghanistan, fighting hunger in Afghan villages, and improving infrastructure in the Palestine territories.

 

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