Data61, Herbert Smith Freehills, IBM forms consortium to introduce


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A consortium formed by Australia-based digital research network Data61, global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, and US-based computing company IBM has launched a blockchain-based smart contract named as Australian National Blockchain (ANB).

Using the Australian National Blockchain, companies of all sizes and kinds will be able to exchange data, use digitized contracts, and confirm the genuineness and status of legal contracts.

The ANB will allow firms to handle Smart Legal Contracts (SLCs) over the complete term of the agreement.

The SLCs can consist of smart clauses to register external data and self-execute after all the conditions are abided by.

An example provided by the consortium was sensors on a construction site that records the time and the delivery date of a load on the blockchain that activates a smart contract between a lender and a construction company as well as notify the lender automatically when the terms are fulfilled to give payment on the delivery.

The blockchain is based on IBM Blockchain and the consortium of three companies is in talks with an unnamed Australia-based law firm to introduce it to market.

Law firms, lenders, regulators, and companies will be called on to take part in a pilot that is anticipated to begin before 2018-end.

Paul Hutchison, vice president, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services stated that just as the Internet revolutionized the way world used to communicate, blockchain will revolutionize the way world will transact adding that blockchain will only grow in popularity once the adoption of technology is widespread and ANB could be that turning point for commercial blockchain.

In 2017, Data61 rolled out a thorough review of smart contract technology and blockchain. The comprehensive review consisted of two reports:

  • Risks and opportunities for systems using blockchain and smart contracts for Treasury on how the technologies could be adopted across government and industry
  • Distributed Ledgers: Scenarios for the Australian economy over the coming decades


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