The Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) has received AU$6.9 million (around $5.3 million USD) from the government to investigate the use of blockchain in the area of regulation, ZDNet reported on 12 March.
According to the publication, the funding will be used to support two pilot projects, which will look at how blockchain technology can be used to reduce the government’s cost of regulatory compliance. One of the projects will focus on how blockchain can improve the supply chain of critical minerals, while the other will be designed around food and beverage provenance. The general manager of DISER’s Emerging Technologies and Adoption division, Tim Bradley, said in a statement:
“This is very much an initiative to advance technology to demonstrate the use of the technology across the [Australian Public Service] and with regulators. It is designed to demonstrate the benefits that technology can bring and help bring along changes amongst regulatory culture.”
Bradley further said there are a number of examples where the government is using blockchain technology already — though the majority of those are in the financial sector — with it finding most utility when it comes to “issues of security, provenance, traceability, and verification”.
While the Australian government continues to explore the usefulness of blockchain technology, the country’s central bank has focused its efforts on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Last November, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) partnered with blockchain company ConsenSys to develop a Proof-of-Concept for the issuance of a “tokenized form of CBDC”, which could be used in the wholesale market.