Category Archives: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

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Australia Tests Blockchain ‘Smart Money’ for Disability Insurance

A federal research branch of the Australian government has partnered with a major national bank to conduct blockchain testings for disability insurance claims via a smart contract-backed token.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) announced details of the ”Making Money Smart” project Tuesday, saying they are currently testing the proof-of-concept.

Together, they will investigate the usability of blockchain in creating what they describe as “smart money”, using Australia‘s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as an initial case study.

Through binding smart contracts encoded into tokens, the project is attempting to solve the issue of NDIS funds being spent outside of the scheme’s preconditions, such as on banned items, outside of the restricted time frame, and by the wrong people. These ”highly personalized payment conditions” were the reason it was chosen for the first proof of concept, to ensure that blockchain technology could meet all of the necessary requirements.

So far, a prototype app has been developed for participants in the NDIS scheme, which aims to give users improved management over their plans by giving them a direct, paperless method for finding, booking, and paying for NDIS service. The proof of concept has received input from government officials and industry leaders, right now being tested by NDIS participants and carers.

Several external participants helping collaborate on the project are cited as the Digital Transformation Agency, the Department of Human Services, FinTech Australia and the Australian Digital Commerce Association.

Sophie Gilder, Head of Experimentation and Blockchain at the Innovation Lab, CBA said that due to the complexity of the project, she recognized a substantial amount of feedback from different organizations with a variety of expertise would be most beneficial. Gilder said, “We threw open the doors and the response has far exceeded our expectations,” a press release reports.

A further more detailed report on the Making Money Smart trial will be shared with the public in November, including information regarding the design, benefits, limitations, and viability for the token to be used in other cases.

 

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Australian Red Belly Blockchain to Process 30,000 Cross-Border Transactions Per Second

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has completed a test with the University of Sydney to improve the speed of cross-border transactions.

The new Red Belly Blockchain network, which has been created with support from the Concurrent Systems Research Group (CSRG) from the University of Sydney, is capable of processing 30,000 cross-border transactions per second.

The CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. Its chief role is to improve the economic and social performance of industry for the benefit of the community. The organization has a hugely diverse portfolio of aims across all sectors, even monitoring the risk that plastic pollution poses to the world’s declining sea turtle populations.

The recent network test was carried out by CSIRO’s tech arm, Data61, covering 1,000 nodes across 14 countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. The organization claims its benchmark was set “by sending 30,000 transactions per second from different geographic regions”.

Senior CSIRO researcher at Data61 Dr Vincent Gramoli said, “Real-world applications of blockchain have been struggling to get off the ground due to issues with energy consumption and complexities induced by the proof of work.”

With an average latency of three seconds, the Red Belly Network promises to be capable of facilitating large-scale business in the country and boosting smart contract usage. In keeping with Australia’s push to promote fintech in the country, such research is immensely important if the country is to become the regional blockchain hub that it aspires to be, according to recent government statements.

The new prime minister Scott Morrison has indicated that the country needs to continue on its research and development if its to keep on its current path. Morrison noted that the contributions of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain in the financial sector would continue to create “massive opportunities”. He maintained that the Australian banking system would also be able to utilize these technologies to transform areas of consumer data rights, open banking reforms, and new legislation.

 

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Australia and IBM to Collaborate for National Blockchain

An Australian federal agency is teaming up with American multinational technology company IBM to develop a national blockchain on which smart legal contracts can be carried out.

The research branch of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization known as Data61 have been working alongside both law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM to create a pilot platform for the Australian National Blockchain (ANB) that will be available for use by businesses.

Australia-based companies will be able to use the network in order to utilize digital contracts, exchange data securely and confirm the authenticity and status of legally binding contracts. Upon finalization of the ANB, the developers hope to be able to offer a service that can fully manage the lifecycle of a contract through a permission-based access system from all parties.

The platform will also provide smart legal contracts with smart clauses and the ability to record external sources of data such as that retrieved from the Internet of Things, self-executing once all specified contract conditions are met. Designed for full legal compliance in Australia, ANB boasts to be the first large-scale, public to business blockchain solution.

Paul Hutchison, vice president and partner of Cognitive Process Transformation at IBM, pointed to the groundbreaking nature of blockchain technology, saying: ”Blockchain will be to transactions what the internet was to communication… ANB could likely spur innovation and economic development in the country as it harnesses that forward-thinking technology.”

The pilot is set to be launched by the end of the year for a number of invited regulators, banks, law firms and businesses to trial, with plans to eventually open up the platform to all companies in Australia.

Blockchain in Australia

While Australia may not have the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption, it has made significant progress in terms of blockchain developments.

Earlier this month, the country’s government handed a USD 1.7 million grant to a sustainable sugar blockchain project that tracks the origins and movements of sugar imports. It is part of a larger initiative of the Smart Cane Best Management Practice that is attempting to bring transparency to the sugar industry and promote sustainability.

In July, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia successfully tracked a shipment of 17 tons of almonds from Sunraysia to Hamburg, Germany using blockchain. The blockchain stored documentation, finance information, and operations information, with customs documents uploaded as the shipment passed through countries’ borders.

 

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