Image Courtesy of Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Around the world, more and more countries are embracing blockchain into their strategies. From governments to businesses, a wide array of organizations is using blockchain in terms of payment methods, tracking, sharing of information, and digital identities. Looking at how blockchain works, it promises secured access because of cryptography, which is unique to each block.
Australia is one of the countries that house the world-first blockchain applications. The acceptance of impact technologies into the country allowed it to embrace higher economic value. With blockchain, the Australian government estimates a global annual business value of over US$175 billion or AU$259.4 billion by 2025.
Currently, the Australian government launched its National Blockchain Roadmap a few days back. The said roadmap, which follows a five-year policy strategy, aims to push the country’s freshly integrated blockchain industry into a global leader, targeting different sectors in the country, namely the wine, education and finance industries. In other words, the goal is to open more jobs, improve productivity, drive long-term development, and seize more economic opportunities with the use of blockchain technologies.
Impact on the Wine Industry
According to Karen Andrews, the country’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the blockchain roadmap’s goal to the wine industry is to create a solid foundation for work of regulators, startups and researchers. The benefits that blockchain will provide to the wine industry’s table is enabling manufacturers to track products easily, cut a portion of the expenditures, and ensure wine’s place of origin and quality.
A wine’s origin heavily affects how it will sell to consumers. Without proper labelling, consumers will never know the important information about the wine product, such as its provenance, storage, and how to properly enjoy it. In Australia, the wine industry is one of the most lucrative sectors, with over 2,000 exporters that ship to 123 destinations in the world. Last year, it was reported that the industry experienced 3% growth, reaching AU$2.91 billion or US$1.9 billion in export value.
What it Offers to the Education Sector
Aside from being a top wine exporter, Australia is known to be the third-largest education exporter in the world. In 2018, international education was worth billions to the Australian economy.
So, what will the roadmap do to this lucrative industry? It will target credentials.
The country’s skilled labor markets see credentials as proof of identity. The job market requires verified credentials as it provides evidence that the person reached the mentioned academic or educational qualifications. With the number of tertiary students coming in and out of the industry, keeping track and verifying their credentials—whether fake or authentic—will require more human resources and time to do so, especially now that people are moving into a digitized workspace.
The potential for credential fraud is high. With the use of blockchain technologies, the education sector, as well as employers, can quickly verify and detect fraud. Blockchain provides a technological infrastructure where credentials can be accessed, managed, and shared. In other words, students can take full ownership of their credentials and share it with different entities as well as have privacy about their information.
One example of this is a case study conducted by RMIT University. In 2018, The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, in partnership with digital credentialing platform, Credly, offered blockchain-enabled credentials to students who underwent participating courses to the study. However, this study concluded that the participants didn’t fully understand the benefits of blockchain and how they can use it to their advantage.
But perceptions can change when the Australian government fully implements its current blockchain roadmap.
Other Countries That Use Blockchain
There’s no denying that the world is currently undergoing the fourth revolution. No matter where you look, artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and other impact technologies are essential in streamlining processes, verifying documents, and even answering messages from consumers.
One of the most famous examples of countries using blockchain is none other Estonia. What the Estonian government did is that it tested technology since 2008, and, in 2012, integrated a blockchain that handles Estonia’s registries. All of those registries involve judicial, national health, commercial code systems. To put it differently, citizens use the government-created e-Estonia program to vote, declare taxes and file it, to have a digital ID as well as access digital health records.
Other countries that use blockchain are Ireland, Singapore, and more, accepting cryptocurrency as payment and having government projects that use blockchain, and even Blockathons or events that discuss all things blockchain.
Blockchain helps in streamlining different processes because of its security, trackability, and real-time transfer. As Australia pushes to move forward with its decision to integrate blockchain to particular sectors, the government decided to establish the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee, formerly known as the National Blockchain Roadmap Advisory Committee. The said committee is said to monitor everything about the project and is expected to welcome members coming from key regulators. Expect more events that involve blockchain, as well as projects, that will further showcase what the blockchain is all about and how it will impact Australia in the coming years.