The challenge

Defining blockchain potential amid future uncertainty

Despite its potential, there is significant uncertainty regarding future adoption of blockchain technology in Australia. For instance, there are unknowns around blockchain's capacity to work at scale while remaining decentralised, and protect confidentiality whilst also being transparent. The extent to which the public will trust decentralised systems is also uncertain.

These uncertainties raise the question: can blockchain progress beyond the hype to deliver tangible, high-value applications and a thriving industry for Australia, or will blockchain amount to little more than a market bubble?

Our response

Collaboration with the Australian Computer Society

CSIROs Data61 collaborated with the Australian Computer Society to deliver a report that explores plausible future scenarios for blockchain in Australia in the year 2030. The report profiles the current Australian blockchain industry and workforce, identifies future trends shaping blockchain adoption in Australia to the year 2030, presents the future scenarios and strategic implications and actions for the Australian government and ICT industry.

Graphic showing stacked cubes of different colours representing plausible future scenarios for Blockchain modelled against the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle including:

  • high technology advancement
  • high cost efficiency
  • trust shifts to decentralised systems
  • low technology advancement
  • low cost efficiency
  • trust stays in existing institutions.

Plausible future scenarios for Blockchain modelled against the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle.

 

Graphed scenario for the future of Blockchain adoption in Australia, with the Y axis showing increasing Expectations/benefits and the X axis displays a variety of scenarios including:

  • innovation trigger
  • peak of inflated expectations
  • trough of disillusionment
  • slope of enlightenment
  • plateau of productivity.

Trend across the graph indicates an initial peak following the innovation trigger follwed by a sharp decline following inflated expectations. The graph then displays via a dotted line, a speculated dip over trough of disillusionment with a slower increase towards the remaining scenarios.

The edge of the graph includes a list of terms associated with blockchain including:

  • Blockchain Blockbuster
  • Ozzy Blocky
  • Blockchain Superstition
  • Block-what?

Scenario for the future of Blockchain adoption in Australia.

The results

Shaping Australia's decisions around future priorities and investment in Blockchain as an emerging technology.

The report will shape the Australian ICT sector and the Australian Computer Society's decisions around future priorities and investment in blockchain as an emerging technology. Minister Karen Andrews has also stated the report findings will feed into Australia's forthcoming national roadmap for blockchain technology.1

Strategic investment and development of blockchain technology could boost the local Australian ICT industry and increase efficiencies in ICT systems. Blockchain systems can create new ways for institutions to collaborate and share data, particularly across supply chains, business sectors and jurisdictions. Blockchain technology can also increase the auditability of ICT systems, which improve fraud detection. These are some of the key opportunities created by blockchain, which will be explored further in future investments.

There has been a lot of interest in the report from various state governments. Data61 most recently has worked with the Victorian Government on a report exploring use cases for public sector - 'The Blockchain Potential: Responsibly assessing the applicability of blockchain technology to potential use cases in the Victorian Government'.

OECD colleagues have expressed an interest in the methodology developed within the Blockchain 2030 report. Data61 has also been approached by Accelerator71, a company developing a blockchain roadmap and scenarios for the Dubai Government, to collaborate and assist them in shaping their blockchain strategy.

Download the report Blockchain 2030: A look at the Future of Blockchain in Australia

1. Denham Sadler. Innovation Australia. Govt funds new blockchain roadmap. 13 July 2019.

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