Turner bullish on blockchain

James Riley
Editorial Director

CSIRO’s Data61 chief executive Adrian Turner has signalled the need for Australia to lead in blockchain adoption, rather than be a laggard.

“In the past, Australia has shown leadership in emerging science and technology areas but at times that advantage has not been realised and we have failed to convert the opportunity created,” Mr Turner said during his keynote presentation at ADC Global Blockchain Summit this week.

“In blockchain we’re influencing global standards, undertaking world leading research, building and applying new systems and taking these to the world. Our momentum is strong and our potential is great.”

Adrian Turner: Blockchain is a new gatekeeper in the trust economy.

He also explored how blockchain can play a role in helping build trust around new and emerging technologies, in addition to ethical frameworks, and regulatory support and governance.

“Blockchain, a distributed trust technology provides a shared single source of truth. The ability to generate integrity in distributed ledgers enables the formation of trust,” Mr Turner said.

“In blockchain systems it comes from mutual oversight within the collective operating the blockchain, and from their shared understanding of the technology implementing the blockchain. It’s a new gatekeeper in the trust economy, a role previously played by banks and other financial middlemen.”

Mr Turner announced Data61 and the Australian Computer Society will soon launch a report detailing the potential for blockchain to reform the Australian ICT landscape. The report, Blockchain 2030: A look at the future of Blockchain in Australia, will look at scenarios for blockchain adoption in Australia and how industries can move past the hype.

“The aim of the report is to assist business and government in understanding and assessing the degree to which blockchain technology is a critical enabler for continued economic growth,” he said.

“This can be achieved by understanding the size of the blockchain market; the types of use cases of blockchain patents; and the degree to which patent applications are being registered in Australia compared to other nations.”

The ADC Global Blockchain Summit, hosted in Adelaide, attracted some 400 delegates from 30 countries, including experts, legislators, developers and customers.

One recognisable name was Joe Schoendorf, former member of the Economic Forum and current partner of venture capital firm Accel Partners, which once invested US$60 million in Atlassian. It signals the potential investment opportunities individuals like Mr Schoendorf sees in emerging markets such as blockchain.

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