New report explores blockchain’s future beyond bitcoin

A new report released in April by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and authored by CSIRO’s Data61, Blockchain 2030: A look at the future of Blockchain in Australia, explores eight scenarios for future adoption of blockchain technology in Australia.

Blockchain presents an opportunity to improve business processes, increase transparency and drive the creation of new jobs and industries.

The scenarios are designed to challenge current perspectives, define and explore key uncertainties, and provide a common set of shared narratives for industry, government and community stakeholders.

As of April 2019, CSIRO’s Data61 is among the top blockchain research organisations in the world, and the author of five of the 30 most-cited blockchain research papers globally.

CSIRO’s Data61 research scientist and lead author of the report, Dr Alexandra Bratanova, said it’s fair to say that the hype around blockchain is fading and people are likely heading towards what is sometimes called the trough of disillusionment.

“It’s been over a decade since blockchain was first introduced but distributed ledger technology is far from dead,” said Bratanova.

“Using the lens of the Gartner Hype Cycle for new technologies, the next phase of development is what is known as the ‘plateau of productivity’, where technologies simply become a part of the fabric of the technology and business landscape.”

ACS president Yohan Ramasundara said investment in blockchain is still growing significantly.

“Right now there are 14 job positions for every blockchain developer. And while current activity is largely concentrated in financial and insurance services, there are many potential applications across the gamut of Australia’s industries.” said Ramasundara.

The report outlines Australia’s competitive advantage, already home to world-first blockchain applications in bonds operations, smart programmable money and international standards, as well as industry-specific trials in energy, agriculture and the public sector.