Australian government embraces blockchain with new trial and public servants’ network

Following the launch of a nationwide APS blockchain network for federal, state, and local staff, Australia has launched an international blockchain trial with Singapore.

The Australian government is trialing the use of blockchain technology for inter-government document exchanges with Singapore as the latest action in a series of pro-blockchain efforts. It follows hot on the heels of the establishment of a new network promoting blockchain to public servants. 

On Nov. 23 the Australia Border Force launched a blockchain trade trial in collaboration with Singapore Customs and Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority to test digital verification systems. ABF Commissioner Michael Outram explained that the trial will help digitize trade and compliance records, adding:

“This initiative will incorporate paperless trading and secure, digital exchange of trade information as part of the future architecture and design of an Australian Trade Single Window.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, and financial institutes across Australia and Singapore, including ANZ, will take part in the trial.

The Border Force will convey its findings from this project to the Supply Chain Working Group. The pilot program is part of the National Blockchain Roadmap led by Chloe White from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources.

On Nov. 5, DISER also launched the Australian Public Servant blockchain network in line with the Blockchain Roadmap.

White explained last week that the network is a way to “uncover who are the public servants that are interested in blockchain.” The community for blockchain enthusiasts will be open to any public servants that are interested in the technology.

“It’s a first step in delivering on Signpost seven of the National Blockchain Roadmap: raising awareness across the APS”

This year’s federal budget announced in October, $5 million was earmarked for two “distributed ledger technology initiatives”, with a further $480 allocated to projects that could benefit from blockchain integration.

In response to Australia’s first recession in 30 years the government’s Senate Select Committee released a report in September that predicted significant adoption of blockchain technology within Australia’s financial and regulatory sectors. The report extensively reference blockchain with more than 50 citations of the word.

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