In an Australian first initiative, Herbert Smith Freehills, Data61 and IBM will come together to pilot the first publicly-available blockchain. Known as the Australian National Blockchain (ANB), the consortium aims to design and build the nation’s first large-scale, enterprise grade and industry-agnostic digital platform to enable Australian businesses to collaborate using the IBM Blockchain Platform and blockchain-based smart legal contracts.
For the legal industry, success depends on the promise of transparency and auditability for all participants. The ANB will allow organisations to digitally manage the lifecycle of a contract, not just from negotiation to signing but also continuing over the term of the agreement, with transparency and permissioned-based access among all parties in the network, by using blockchain-based smart contracts to trigger business processes and events. These contracts contain smart clauses which have the ability to record external data sources, such as Internet of Things (IoT) device data and self-execute if specified contract conditions are met.
The platform will represent a significant new piece of infrastructure in Australia’s digital economy. The ANB will soon invite regulators, banks, law firms and other Australian businesses to participate in the pilot, which is expected to start before the end of the year. Should the Australian pilot be successful, the consortium intends to roll out the technology to other markets beyond Australia.
“Blockchain will be to transactions what the internet was to communication – what starts as a tool for sharing information becomes transformational once adoption is widespread.”
“Technologies like blockchain are set to transform the legal industry and the wider business landscape as we know it”
“Our reports identified distributed ledger technology as a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation”