Australian Government Budgets $500k for Blockchain Research

11 May, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Australian Government Budgets $500k for Blockchain Research

The government of Australia has allocated $700,000 AUD ($521,000 USD) for its Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to to explore the use of blockchain for "government payments".

"This includes modernising Commonwealth cash management by utilising the New Payments Platform for fast payments, which is being rolled out across the banking system in Australia", the Budget documents said.

However, according to Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the funding for transport infrastructure has declined by nearly $2 billion over the forward estimates compared to last year's budget. The budget allocation will be spread as 2.6 million AUD in 2018-19, 2 million AUD in 2019-20, 2 million AUD in 2020-21, and 2.1 million AUD in 2021-22.

"This Budget fails to appropriately reinvest the taxes paid by Australian motorists in the programs so desperately needed to improve safety, affordability, and mobility", Bradley was also quoted as saying in the press release.

"It really is time for the Turnbull Government to reflect the economic and cultural contribution our industry makes to Australia with a broader vision and some long-term, strategic policy initiatives that support its future growth".

"The public sector has a critical role in this context".

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As of February, there were 13 entities participating in NPP: ANZ, Australian Settlements Limited (ASL), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup, CBA, Cuscal, HSBC Bank Australia, Indue, ING Australia, Macquarie Bank, NAB, the RBA, and Westpac.

As a leader of information and communication technology (ICT) solution provider for the nation since its inauguration in 2015, the Digital Transformation Agency supports various departments connected to the government "undergo digital transformation". Of that, most of the projects are already underway and there are few new commitments. These changes, which will come into effect on 1 July 2018, are estimated to have a gain to the budget of A$2.0 billion over the next four years.

The Budget includes a $41 million space agency and investment program, $4.5 million in new measures to encourage girls and women to pursue STEM education and careers, and a $29.9 million research initiative on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The government is continuing to invest in supercomputing, including upgrading two supercomputers with total funding of $140 million for the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth and the National Computational Infrastructure facility at the Australian National University.

Additionally, in November past year the Australian government announced that it would be providing $8 million in grants for a blockchain energy pilot, that will power distributed energy and water systems.

The government has also provided AU$19.3 million in funding for the Australian Taxation Office, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to "develop a detailed business case for modernising the Government's business registers".

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