IBM, Data61 Collaborate On Australia National Blockchain Project
The Australian government is looking at the prospects of using blockchain technology for simplifying business processes. In this regard, the research division of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Data61, is entering into a partnership with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM with an aim to launch a new platform that will be named the Australian National Blockchain.
The proposed Australian National Blockchain is expected to facilitate companies to administer the entire life span of a contract digitally, beginning with negotiation process, moving forward to a signing of contract and running through the whole time span of the agreement.
The ultimate aim of the technology is digitization of transactions on the basis of pre-determined legal clauses that fully comply with Australia’s regulations. The rules that govern the transactions are coded in the form of smart contracts and are implemented in the IBM-powered blockchain network.
The solution will enable firms with a chance to expedite their business operations and events, share data with other firms on the network and confirm the credibility of legal contracts.
Blockchain is altering all business sectors. One of them is legal industry. Commenting on the new project and the capability of blockchain, Natasha Blycha, Blockchain and Smart Legal contract head at Herbert Smith Freehills, stated:
“This presents a huge opportunity for agile and forward-thinking firms, and has potential to deliver significant benefits to our clients and the business community as a whole. Our clients are enthusiastic about process automation, and how it can support a move away from paper-based systems, simplify supply chains, and quickly and securely share information with customers and regulators.”
Data 61, IBM and Herbert Smith Freehills will initially create a prototype for testing. In this regard, the trio is negotiating with an unnamed Australian law firm for testing the Australian National Blockchain. Later this year, regulators, financial institutions, banks and a wide range of Australian companies are also expected to join the piloting of the prototype. The stake holders in the project are also considering launching the product in other markets.
Paul Hutchison, IBM Global Business Service vice president, explained the technicalities of the system as follows:
“IBM Blockchain and the IBM Cloud provide the highest level of security to support even highly regulated industries such as healthcare and government, and IBM has extensive experience building blockchain networks and convening large consortia focused around solving important business problems.”
Notably, before starting to work on this project, Data61 conducted a detailed research to explore the possibilities of blockchain adoption by government organizations and business sectors. In this regard, Mark Staples, a research scientist, has stated that blockchain technology could become a “significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation.”