Aussie Government Includes Blockchain in its ‘Blueprint for Critical Technologies’

November 19, 2021, 9:45 AM AEST - 2 weeks ago

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the federal government’s Blueprint for Critical Technologies, a strategy aimed at protecting and promoting critical technologies, including blockchain.

Protect and Promotes 63 Technologies

According to the Prime Minister:

The blueprint sets out a vision for protecting and promoting critical technologies in our national interest. It aims to balance the economic opportunities of critical technologies with their national security risks. And it gives us the right framework to work domestically and with like-minded countries to support the further development of these technologies.

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister

He continued:

Australia is already a global leader in several aspects of quantum technology. We have some world-class research capabilities and scientists, and strong foundations for a thriving quantum industry. Now, we need to take it to the next level.

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister

The blueprint sets out four goals for Australia, which include:

  • having access to critical technologies and secure systems;
  • being recognised as a trusted and secure partner in relation to critical technologies;
  • preserving the integrity of local research in order to maximise its sovereign IP; and
  • supporting regional resilience and shaping an international environment that enables open, diverse, and competitive markets and secure and trusted technological innovation.

Part of the blueprint is an action plan, defining critical technologies as “current and emerging technologies with the capacity to significantly enhance or pose risk to our national interest”.

Blockchain’s Role

Blockchain is among the technologies listed in the action plan, which also includes AI, cybersecurity technologies, robotics and quantum computing.

Specifically, the document makes reference to “distributed ledger technology”, referring to “digital systems for recording transactions, contracts and other information across multiple systems or
locations”.

It also recognises the power of distributed consensus mechanisms as being capable of reducing the risk of fraud and cyber-attacks, since the need to maintain a central database is eliminated.

Blockchain, it goes on to describe, is an example of a distributed ledger technology that can be used for “verification of supply chains such as for product provenance and emissions monitoring and verification, tracking recoverable and recyclable product content, land records, and share trading”.

Australia is certainly on the front foot when it comes to embracing technology and, specifically, blockchain. As practical use cases continue to grow, it is likely that blockchain will increasingly become part of how everyday Australians engage with government. As the techno-democratic state becomes a modern-day reality, it will be interesting to see how concerns around privacy are accommodated in this brave new world.

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