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Australia takes the lead in blockchain globally

9 April 2019

Australia has carved out an international reputation for blockchain since the technology was first introduced over a decade ago.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the launch of a new report, Blockchain 2030: A look at the future from CSIRO’s Data61, in collaboration with the Australian Computer Society, saying blockchain presented an enormous opportunity to create jobs and support the growth of Australian businesses.

“Australia’s blockchain sector is expanding rapidly, and the development of a national blockchain roadmap, announced recently, will help Australia seize these opportunities,” Minister Andrews said.

“Blockchain is growing globally, with a 50 per cent increase in the number of investments in blockchain-related startups from 2016-17.

“As part of this global ecosystem, we have a uniquely active startup and technology community that drives innovation in the blockchain sector.

“The percentage of blockchain-related Australian startups has risen to 8.1 per cent, up from 3.4 per cent in 2016, and there are now 14 job openings for every blockchain developer.”

Blockchain 2030 follows two earlier reports developed by Data61 for the Coalition Government on how blockchain technology could be adopted across government and industry in Australia, and findings from all reports will contribute towards the national blockchain strategy. 

As of April 2019, CSIRO’s Data61 is among the top blockchain research organisations in the world, and the author of five of the 30 most-cited blockchain research papers globally.

Australia is also home to a number of leading blockchain initiatives, including industry-specific trials for solutions in energy, agriculture and the public sector.

This includes the Australian National Blockchain (ANB), a platform in development by CSIRO’s Data61, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, IBM and King & Wood Mallesons, representing a significant new piece of infrastructure in Australia’s digital economy, enabling companies nationwide to join the network to use digitised contracts, exchange data and confirm the authenticity and status of legal contracts.

Previous investment by the Liberal National Government in blockchain technology includes $700,000 to the Digital Transformation Agency to investigate the benefits of using blockchain for government payments, $350,000 to Standards Australia to lead the development of international blockchain standards through the International Organization for Standardization and $100,000 to send startups to New York’s premiere blockchain event Consensus.

The Coalition is committed to supporting innovation and technology, as part of our job-creating plan to grow Australia’s economy. This plan for a stronger economy has already helped create over 1.25 million jobs since 2013.

ANB will be the first large-scale, publicly available blockchain solution available to businesses of all kinds across Australia, and designed for Australian legal compliance.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that records and verifies transactions within a computer network with potential applications for business and governments. It can assure and secure transactions, demonstrating usefulness across Australian industries including finance, legal, agriculture and supply chains.

To read the report, visit www.acs.org.au

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070