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Blockchain Challenges for Australia


Australia is at the forefront of blockchain regulation, research and application. This technical white paper identifies some of the predominant challenges to exploiting blockchain technology in Australian contexts and proposes ways to overcome them.


Overcoming barriers to blockchain’s full potential


Bitcoin gave birth to blockchain technology ten years ago. Blockchain promises to disintermediate interactions between individuals by offering secure exchanges without relying on a central trust authority. Blockchain has been trialled in various sectors, from finance and insurance to energy.


A decade later, Australia is at the forefront of blockchain technology in terms of regulation, research and industry applications. Australia's standards organisation leads the secretariat of blockchain standards for the ISO; ARC-funded research has produced one of the most scalable blockchain systems; and the World Bank chose an Australian bank to implement the first blockchain-based bond.


Yet, blockchain poses significant challenges that prevent Australia from fully exploiting its promised benefits for our economy and society. This technical white paper identifies some of the predominant challenges for applying blockchain technology in different contexts in Australia and proposes technical directions to overcome these. 


The identified challenges are scalability, security, regulation, education and employment. These challenges are of strategic importance, as blockchain promises to reshape the Australian economy and rethink business interactions within Australian society.


The directions that this technical white paper explores for solving these challenges include the analysis of use cases; educating critical actors; exploring blockchain development, especially surrounding consensus; and further understanding of regulations. They specifically include assessing the requirements for each use case in terms of speed, volume, scalability and security to identify the most appropriate blockchain proposal for a given application. They also include a roadmap to help technical and legal professionals interact on specific topics.