The Australian Government has put together a roadmap document
suggesting how the country can capitalise from blockchain technologies in five
years’ time.

The document outlines various areas where blockchain
technologies could benefit Australia. For instance, product counterfeiting and
substitution cost the Australian food and wine industry more than AU$1.68
billion in 2017 alone. Overall, the roadmap advocates use cases around data
redundancy, information transparency, data immutability, and a consensus mechanism
– and for the best examples to have at least three out of those four.

Right now, the landscape in Australia is finance-heavy.
Financial and insurance services comprise almost two fifths of overall
blockchain activity. Accommodation and food services, as well as forestry and
fishing, barely scrape together 5% between them, although the figures do
improve slightly for retail and healthcare initiatives.

Karen Andrews, minister for industry, science and
technology, noted that while many other nations had lofty goals for the growth
of blockchain technologies, Australia had an advantage around international
standards, research, and bond operations, alongside trials in the energy,
agricultural and public sectors.

“Together, we can drive the long-term development and
adoption of blockchain technology, and capitalise on the tremendous economic
and social opportunities it offers,” Andrews wrote in a foreword.

The Australian government has outlined 12 primary areas of
focus between now and 2025:

  • Formalising the National Blockchain Roadmap
    Advisory Committee, and renaming it the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering
    Committee
  • Establishing a collaborative model comprising
    working groups of industry, the research sector and government, to progress
    analysis on the next use cases
  • Investigating options for progressing use cases,
    with particular note of wine exports and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks
  • Government establishing and coordinating a group
    of government blockchain users
  • Looking internationally to identify countries
    providing efficient blockchain government services. The report specifically
    cites e-Estonia as an example
  • Working closely with blockchain providers to engage
    with the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) program, which
    provides grant funding to SMEs to develop offerings for government policy among
    others
  • Ensuring that blockchain is included in broader
    policy work to increase management capability around digital technologies
  • Helping industry and educational institutions
    work together to develop common frameworks and course content for blockchain
    qualifications
  • Working with Austrade on a capability development
    program for Australian blockchain startups
  • Work with Austrade to deliver a
    blockchain-focused inbound investment program
  • Leveraging existing bilateral agreements to
    consider pilot projects, or collaborations incorporating blockchain technology
    with other countries
  • Working with relevant government departments to
    ensure Australian businesses can connect into emerging digital trade
    infrastructure

As regular readers of this publication will know, there have
been plenty of emerging initiatives which have taken place in Australia. In
late 2017, the Australian government put
forward $8 million
in a blockchain energy pilot, as well as moving the
clearing system of its stock
exchange to blockchain
technology, being the first country to do.

The year after, IBM
won
a five-year AU$1bn contract to provide data security-enhancing
technologies – including blockchain – for the Australian government. Also
in 2018
, a successful collaboration between the Commonwealth Bank and five
Australian and international supply chain leaders saw 17 tonnes of almonds
shipped and tracked, from Victoria to Hamburg, on blockchain.

You can read the full document here (pdf, no opt-in required).

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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