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Australia’s Budget 2018-19 allocates $500k to explore blockchain

The government of Australia has announced funding to its Digital Transformation Agency to explore the potential of blockchain for government services.

The government has allocated AU $700,000 (around $518,000 according to current exchange rate) to the agency, which will be allotted over the next four years, according to the Budget Paper 2018-19.

"The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation Agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services," the document reads.

Launched in 2015, the Digital Transformation Agency aims to help government departments and agencies undergo digital transformation. It has the central oversight of the government’s ICT agenda.

The government has been taking interest in blockchain technology for quite some time now. Last November, it announced AU$8 million funding to a blockchain project in the City of Fremantle.

The country is also home to a number of blockchain startups and several blockchain initiatives. Recently, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it will switch to a blockchain-based settlement system somewhere between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. Australian startup Power Ledger, in collaboration with Clean Energy Blockchain Network, announced the first commercial deployment in the U.S.

Furthermore, Australian health supplements company Blackmores is one of the first companies to trial a blockchain framework aimed at improving supply chain traceability.

By Shampa Mani
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