Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) have this week announced the creation of what will be a “data consortium” that will revolutionize the Aussie business market. The CSIRO will be partnered by IBM and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, the objective being the development of what will be a game-changing and all-encompassing cross-industry smart contract platform, which will connect Australian businesses and grant them a whole new level of interaction.
ANB: The Future Of Australian Business?
The Australian National Blockchain (ANB) is a data consortium platform project which will use state-of-the-art cutting-edge blockchain technology, and hopes are high that it will take Australia’s burgeoning digital economy to a whole new level. Such items as legally-enforceable smart contracts and exchange data will be handled smoothly and efficiently, while the status and authenticity of legal contracts will be assessed and verified instantly.
Australian National Blockchain
The ANB will – when fully operational – allow for Australian companies and corporations to electronically manage the complete life-cycle of a smart contract, from the negotiation stage right the way through to its eventual execution. All of this will be achieved with total transparency, with full access granted to all relevant parties on the platform.
In simple terms, Aussie businesses can use smart contracts to initiate, process and audit business events. Smart Legal Contracts (SLC) provided by ANB will include clauses to “accommodate recording of information from external data sources.”
These advancements are a direct result of CSIRO’s in-depth research into potential applications of blockchain technology for Australian businesses. For example, in 2017, CSIRO’s own Data61 research unit released a comprehensive report compiled for the Australian Treasury. This report detailed strategies for the adoption and absorption of blockchain technology across Australian government and commercial applications.
Blockchain Technology Set To Revolutionize Oz
The ANB will first undergo a trial period with CSIRO, Herbert Smith Freehills, Data61, and IBM. These platforms will trial ANB as a pilot project using the IBM Blockchain. If said trial is a success, the idea is for major deployment of ANB across the digital framework of Australia and even beyond.
For example, moves are already being made to bring Australian regulators, banks, financial institutions, law firms, private health facilities and gaming companies on board for the launch of the pilot, which is scheduled to begin before the end of 2018.
Paul Hutchison, vice president and partner, Cognitive Process Transformation, at IBM Global Business Services had this to say ahead of the launch of the pilot:
“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. Blockchain will be to transactions what the internet was to communication – what starts as a tool for sharing information becomes transformational once adoption is widespread. The ANB could be that inflection point for commercial blockchain, spurring innovation and economic development throughout Australia.”
Dr Mark Staples, the senior research scientist at Data61, also expressed hope that the initiation of ANB will result in a host of new opportunities for Australian businesses, saying:
“Our reports identified distributed ledger technology as a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation. Data61’s independence and world-leading expertise will help to catalyse the creation of digital infrastructure for Australian businesses to transition to a digitally-enabled future. For complex enterprise contracts, there are huge opportunities to benefit from our research into blockchain architecture and into computational law. Smart contracts have many applications, and as the ANB progresses we look forward to exploring other business use cases to roll out.”