Australia’s Blockchain Roadmap To Release Shortly
The Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science considers that blockchain is an assuring application in agriculture and food production in Australia, plugging its advantages in providing transparency and authentication of supply chains.
The department said the adoption of blockchain in food provenance and traceability could enhance food safety and preserve Australian producers from deceitful and forged products.
“The safety, quality, taste, and well-regulated production of Australian-branded agricultural and food goods — which make them popular and high-value commodities in foreign markets — make the Australian brand an attractive target for counterfeiting,” it said in a submission [PDF] to the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology and its probe into the opportunities the two vectors present to Australia.
“The process of growing, producing, manufacturing, and transporting goods is complex, with many different participants involved in the process.”
According to the department, food and wine fraud in 2017 were expected to valued at over AU$1.68 billion.
The department is currently promoting a ‘National Blockchain Roadmap’ that it stated would highlight the opportunities posed by blockchain technology over the whole economy.
It said the roadmap would assess “sectoral opportunities,” including in agriculture, credentials for selves, and KYC checks.
“It will also examine key issues of regulation and standards, skills, capability and innovation, international investment, and collaboration in blockchain,” the submission continued.
The roadmap is being developed with oversight by an Advisory Committee involving representatives from academia, industry, and government with the assumption that it will be settled and published in the next few months.
It follows the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) counseling over a year ago to those getting lost in the drone of blockchain that they should shift their concern elsewhere.
DTA chief digital officer ‘Peter Alexander’ also dunked on its use, replying to the above that “for every use of blockchain you would consider today, there is a better technology — alternate databases, secure connections, standardized API engagement.”
“Blockchain: Interesting technology but early on in its development, it’s kind of at the top of a hype cycle,” he said.
The government has even issued a questionnaire for companies to self-evaluate before worrying about something that can just be recorded in a secure database.
The industry also took the responsibility to update Australia’s role in the enhancement of international blockchain standards.
Standards Australia, the country’s non-government standards body, was charged with managing the secretariat of an international technical committee for the development of blockchain standards by the International Organization for Standardization in September 2016, with 16 ISO member bodies including the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, France, Estonia, and South Korea also engaging in the development of ISO/TC 307 Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies.
In 2017, Standards Australia issued a Roadmap for Blockchain Standards, deciding at the time the industry should first improve blockchain and DLT terminology standards as a method to clarify definitions in the sector and set a platform for the evolution of other related standards.
“Common standards for blockchain are crucial as the technology matures,” the department wrote in its submission to the committee. “Currently, there is a lack of interoperability between blockchain platforms, and many will require replacement soon to remain competitive and to avoid security problems and obsolescence.”
It holds standards for blockchain, will enhance market confidence, and encourage a wider rollout of blockchain systems.
The department announced the ISO committee is promoting blockchain standards on several topics, including terminology, interoperability, privacy, and security.
Standards Australia also lately issued a report on the interactions among smart contracts in blockchain.
“Common standards will enable the establishment of more extensive and cohesive digital infrastructure and collaboration for blockchain activities and enable a wider range of blockchain-empowered activities,” it stated.