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Utilising the future of blockchain technology in Australia

There are opportunities for Australian businesses and government to be more involved in the future of blockchain technology.

This was the topic of conversation when the Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation visited RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, which is a social science research centre on blockchain.

As reported, Australian businesses and governments have shown great interest in blockchain.

This is demonstrated by the increase in business and public sector blockchain use-cases and public funding of blockchain trials.

In a prediction by Garner, the business value-add of blockchain will grow to around A$ 176 billion by 2025.

The Minister’s visit should be viewed as a signal of the interest by Australian Government in guaranteeing that the country meaningfully participates in the exciting innovations presented by blockchain.

Furthermore, the meeting covered potential policy reforms to enable greater participation in the fast-growing blockchain economy.

A particular focus is to be given on social services, public administration, primary industries and trade.

Australia is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the economic opportunities flowing from blockchain.

Recent studies show that Australia has put in place some encouraging policies to encourage blockchain development.

The facilitation of additional use cases by public sectors is likely to increase familiarity with this technology, and promote confidence associated with blockchain throughout the broader community.

With reference given to the efforts of Melbourne’s Blockchain Centre incubator and the new Australian National Blockchain smart-contract consortia, Australia’s presence and leadership in the blockchain economy would only increase through the continued strengthening of pro-blockchain policies.

As proof of how blockchain can be utilised, a new software platform designed by RMIT students allows miners to trade on the future value of their unprocessed materials.

As reported, RMIT student and now Software Engineer said the software used financial algorithms along with transparent blockchain ‘smart contracts’, to enable the trading of derivatives.

Derivatives are financial contracts where buyers agree to purchase an asset, in this case unprocessed ore containing gold, on a specific date at a set price.

What the application does is to harness that future value of unprocessed materials today to give miners immediate cash flow and royalties from their stockpiles.

At the same time, this enables market traders to profit on future price increases.

But while people are already trading on the future value of processed metals and minerals, no one has applied the same pricing mechanisms and exchange styles higher up the supply chain to unprocessed minerals.

RMIT University students worked with Australia’s leading collaborative research and development group for the mining industry in order to develop the prototype software.

The mining industry context and knowledge on mineral price calculations were provided by the senior mining researchers of Mining3.

From this, the students developed the pricing algorithm, blockchain ecosystem and website interface.

The technology was built through interdisciplinary co-operation, with the solution combining mineral technologies and finance, deployed as a software service.

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