Australia Set to Make Money ‘Smart’ Using Blockchain

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) Data61 division and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have announced that they have successfully trialed a new type of blockchain-powered smart money.

Photo: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Photo: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) Data61 division and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have announced that they have successfully trialed a new type of blockchain-powered smart money. saying that it could be used to help manage insurance payouts, budgeting and the management of trusts and charities in Australia.

This technology was trialled with 10 participants and carers in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) using a prototype app.

In their release CSIRO explain that the prototype app shows how smart money could give participants more choice and control over their disability support services, while cutting administration costs, removing paperwork and reducing the risk of fraud or accidental misspending.

It says:

“The findings of the ‘smart money’ proof of concept were released today in a new report titled ‘Making Money Smart’.”

The report examines the design benefits and limitations of the blockchain-based ‘smart money’ system for the NDIS and identifies other use cases for the technology.

Mark Staples, Data61’s senior principal researcher in the Software and Computational Systems program, said that the use of blockchain could help them innovate “many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits.”

He also explained that the use of blockchain added new kinds of programmable behaviors to the smart money in the prototype system. He believes that the automation and flexibility could reduce friction and enable greater innovation in many payment environments and unlock network-effect benefits.

He added:

“This could include more directly connecting citizens to public policy programs, empowering people to optimise their spending through things like smart savings plans and smart diets, and reducing costs for businesses, including through the potential for self-taxing transactions.”

Australian Federal Agency had already in August said that they are interested in using blockchain technology for streamlining business processes. As it has become known, the research arm of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Data61, is cooperating with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM with a view to launch a new platform that will be named the Australian National Blockchain.

It is said that the Australian National Blockchain will enable companies to manage the entire lifecycle of a contract digitally, starting with a process of negotiations, proceeding to a moment of signing and continuing over the whole term of the agreement.

The main goal of the technology is digitalization of transactions on the base of pre-defined legal terms that fully comply with Australian regulations. These terms are coded into smart contracts and are placed in an IBM-powered blockchain network.

Commonwealth Bank’s Head of Government and ADIs Julie Hunter confirmed that they are excited by the potential to enable NDIS participants to exercise greater choice and control over their disability support services, while streamlining budget management and removing the need for paperwork.

She said:

“The results also show potential to reduce administration costs for disability service providers and the risk of fraud and accidental misspending. The trial has also highlighted that the technology could have wide application across the government, business and not-for-profit sectors. We look forward to exploring these opportunities with our partners and clients across Australia.”

Commonwealth Bank’s Blockchain Innovations

In August this year, CBA announced that they are delivering the world’s first ever bond transaction on blockchain after winning a mandate from the World Bank to conduct the issuance of the bond. Once issued, the bond is distributed on an ethereum blockchain-based platform operated by CBA and the World Bank in Sydney and Washington.

Commonwealth Bank modelling indeed indicates that, even if these estimates were applied conservatively across the NDIS ecosystem, the economic benefits would equate to hundreds of millions of dollars annually, if the proof of concept was developed and implemented as part of a full-scale solution across Australia.

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