An Australian federal agency is developing a national blockchain that will allow businesses to make transactions based on smart legal contracts.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said that its research arm, Data61, is working with the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM to conduct a pilot project for a new platform called the Australian National Blockchain (ANB).
The technology is designed to enable companies to automate transactions based on pre-defined legal terms – designed for Australian regulations – encoded in smart contracts on an IBM-powered blockchain network.
The scheme will establish smart contracts that have the ability to record external data sources, such as from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and can self-execute once the specified conditions are met.
"For example, site sensors can record the time and date of a delivery of a load on the blockchain and activate an intelligent contract between the construction company and the bank that automatically notifies the bank that the terms have been satisfied to provide payment on that delivery of the cargo, "explained the agency in the announcement.
The group said the pilot should start by the end of 2018 and plans to invite regulators, banks, law firms and other companies in the country to participate. Ultimately, it expects Australian companies to join the network to exploit their digitized contracts, exchange data and confirm the authenticity and status of legal contracts.
The effort follows recent research conducted by Data61 in 2017, with scientist Dr. Mark Staples stating that distributed ledger technology represents "a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits" and promote local innovation. "
CSIRO stated that it intends to launch technology on markets beyond Australia if the pilot test is successful.
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