IBM Blockchain Head: DLT is Transforming Global Supply Chains

Saturday 4 May 2020, 4:50 PM AEST - 3 weeks ago

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Rupert Colchester, the head of blockchain at IBM Australia and New Zealand, discussed how distributed ledger technology is transforming supply chain systems worldwide.

Colchester also provided insight into some of IBMs current blockchain initiatives and the state of the industry in Australia, and he shared his excitement for the emerging era of digitization that DLT is driving.

Cointelegraph: What is the state of blockchain adoption within Australia at present? Is Australia behind or ahead of the curve regarding DLT?

Rupert Colchester: I think Australia's progress on DLT as a technology over the past two years has been very encouraging. But a country-by-country assessment only tells some of the story, given that so many blockchain and DLT implementations touch companies both inside the borders, partly inside the borders, outside the borders, etc.

Even with respect to government-based blockchain initiatives, which you might say are centered on the country and its assets,' initiatives also often still touch exports and imports in the form of people, goods and services.

By way of example, there are great use cases for the technology around skills and credentials, but a lot of those use cases relate to non-Australian students, regulations, processes, educational institutions and so on. So, I think it's very hard for any one country to assess its own progress.

What is definitely true is that the way Australia has set up standards, and indeed the way it has a really prominent role in some of the global standards initiatives in relation to DLT, is a very positive thing. And in order to help companies and organizations within the borders of Australia make progress on this technology, it is helpful to have some leadership in the way of standards and technical standards, but also the governance mechanisms and know-how to push things forward.

The other thing I'd add from when I think about the Lygon initiative — where we ran a pilot with three of the largest banks in the country — is the importance of effective collaboration within the Australian borders. That is something you don't see in many other countries across the globe.

When you look broadly at supply chains, I wouldn't say that Australia is particularly far ahead. You don't see many organizations using a common p ...

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